Background. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is responsible for about 900 deaths every year in Burkina Faso. In this country, serological screening for hepatitis B and C viruses is only carried out systematically among blood donors. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and genotypes of HCV among blood donors using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR, respectively. Materials and methods. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to HCV using an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ARCHITECT-i1000SR- ABBOTT). All the reactive samples for HCV antibodies were re-tested using a second enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Bio-Rad, Marnes la Coquette, France) for confirmation. RNA was detected in all the reactive samples for antibodies to HCV. HCV RNA positive samples were genotyped using the HCV Real-TM Genotype kit (Sacace Biotechnologies, Italy). Results. Among 2,200 blood donors, the prevalences of antibodies to HCV and viral RNA were 4.4% (95% confidence interval=3.5-5.3) and 1.5% (95% confidence interval=1.0-2.0), respectively. Among HCV RNA carriers, genotyping showed that HCV genotypes 2 and 3 were the most prevalent as they were detected in 18 (56.3%) and 5 (15.6%) individuals, respectively. HCV genotypes 1a and 4 were the least frequent among the blood donors. HCV mixed genotypes 2/3 and 2/4 were also detected among the blood donors. Conclusion. The prevalence of HCV found in this study is lower than previously reported prevalences. Large-scale studies are needed to obtain a better picture of the molecular epidemiology of HCV in Burkina Faso.
- Blood donors.
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