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Hepatitis C Virus: Molecular Epidemiology, Treatment and Diagnosis Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Hepatitis C Virus: Molecular Epidemiology, Treatment and Diagnosis Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Joseph Anejo-Okopi1*, Ocheme Julius Okojokwu1 and Onyemocho Audu2 

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; 2Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria.

josephokopi@yahoo.com 

ABSTRACT

Chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be considered as a silent and neglected killer, fueled by many years of inertia from government and stakeholders. Treatment of chronic HCV infection has the potential to influence the 2030 elimination target due to the increasing availability of effective pangenotypic antiviral DAAs. Understanding the extent of HCV genetic diversity is important for treatment and development of vaccine. Among the routes of HCV transmission; intravenous drug addiction or injection drug use accounts for the majority of many cases apart from hemodialysis patients, unprotected sexual intercourse, blood transfusion and vertical transmission. Therefore, there is a need for government commitment for HCV elimination program through making the DAAs available and its affordability to general population to curb the catastrophic cost of managing the epidemic. However, the diagnosis of HCV infection is faced with several challenges, therefore there is a demand for development of easy to use and inexpensive molecular methods for accurate diagnosis. The sub-Saharan Africa HCV genotypes distribution are diverse, but genotype I is the most common. This review highlights the need for more robust surveillance studies with introduction of opt-in testing at all clinics for better epidemiology the HCV disease burden more accurately.  

 

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Hosts and Viruses

June

Vol. 7, Iss. 3, Pages 39-58

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