A systematic review of hepatitis C virus epidemiology in Asia, Australia and Egypt

William Sievert, Ibrahim Altraif, Homie A. Razavi, Ayman Abdo, Ezzat Ali Ahmed, Ahmed Alomair, Deepak Amarapurkar, Chien Hung Chen, Xiaoguang Dou, Hisham El Khayat, Mohamed elShazly, Gamal Esmat, Richard Guan, Kwang Hyub Han, Kazuhiko Koike, Angela Largen, Geoff Mccaughan, Sherif Mogawer, Ali Monis, Arif NawazTeerha Piratvisuth, Faisal M. Sanai, Ala I. Sharara, Scott Sibbel, Ajit Sood, Dong Jin Suh, Carolyn Wallace, Kendra Young, Francesco Negro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

437 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The hepatitis C pandemic has been systematically studied and characterized in North America and Europe, but this important public health problem has not received equivalent attention in other regions. Aim: The objective of this systematic review was to characterize hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology in selected countries of Asia, Australia and Egypt, i.e. in a geographical area inhabited by over 40% of the global population. Methodology: Data references were identified through indexed journals and non-indexed sources. In this work, 7770 articles were reviewed and 690 were selected based on their relevance. Results: We estimated that 49.3-64.0 million adults in Asia, Australia and Egypt are anti-HCV positive. China alone has more HCV infections than all of Europe or the Americas. While most countries had prevalence rates from 1 to 2% we documented several with relatively high prevalence rates, including Egypt (15%), Pakistan (4.7%) and Taiwan (4.4%). Nosocomial infection, blood transfusion (before screening) and injection drug use were identified as common risk factors in the region. Genotype 1 was common in Australia, China, Taiwan and other countries in North Asia, while genotype 6 was found in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. In India and Pakistan genotype 3 was predominant, while genotype 4 was found in Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Conclusion: We recommend implementation of surveillance systems to guide effective public health policy that may lead to the eventual curtailment of the spread of this pandemic infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalLiver International
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


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