Epidemiology of hepatitis C in Croatia in the European context

Vilibić-Čavlek, Tatjana and Kučinar, Jasmina and Kaić, Bernard and Vilibić, Maja and Pandak, Nenad and Barbić, Ljubo and Stevanović, Vladimir and Vraneš, Jasmina (2015) Epidemiology of hepatitis C in Croatia in the European context. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 21 (32). pp. 9476-9493. ISSN 1007-9327

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We analyzed prevalence, risk factors and hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype distribution in different population groups in Croatia in the context of HCV epidemiology in Europe, with the aim to gather all existing information on HCV infection in Croatia which will be used to advise upon preventive measures. It is estimated that 35000-45000 of the Croatian population is chronically infected with HCV. Like in other European countries, there have been changes in the HCV epidemiology in Croatia over the past few decades. In some risk groups (polytransfused and hemodialysis patients), a significant decrease in the HCV prevalence was observed after the introduction of routine HCV screening of blood/blood products in 1992. Injecting drug users (IDUs) still represent a group with the highest risk for HCV infection with prevalence ranging from 29% to 65%. Compared to the prevalence in the Croatian general population (0.9%), higher prevalence rates were found in prison populations (8.3%-44%), human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients (15%), persons with high-risk sexual behavior (4.6%) and alcohol abusers (2.4%). Low/very low prevalence was reported in children and adolescents (0.3%) as well as in blood donors (0%-0.009%). In addition, distribution of HCV genotypes has changed due to different routes of transmission. In the general population, genotypes 1 and 3 are most widely distributed (60.4%-79.8% and 12.9%-47.9%, respectively). The similar genotype distribution is found in groups with high-risk sexual behavior. Genotype 3 is predominant in Croatian IDUs (60.5%-83.9%) while in the prison population genotypes 3 and 1 are equally distributed (52.4% and 47.6%). Data on HCV prevalence and risk factors for transmission are useful for implementation of preventive measures and HCV screening.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/
MeSH: Croatia/epidemiology ; Genotype ; Hepacivirus/genetics ; Hepatitis C/diagnosis ; Hepatitis C/epidemiology ; Hepatitis C/prevention & control ; Hepatitis C/transmission ; Humans ; Mass Screening/methods ; Prevalence ; Risk Factors
Departments: Katedra za medicinsku mikrobiologiju i parazitologiju
Depositing User: Martina Žužak
Status: Published
Vilibić-Čavlek, TatjanaUNSPECIFIED
Kučinar, JasminaUNSPECIFIED
Stevanović, VladimirUNSPECIFIED
Vraneš, JasminaUNSPECIFIED
Date: 28 August 2015
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 10:00
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 07:10
Related URLs:
URI: http://medlib.mef.hr/id/eprint/2692

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