THE ROLE OF SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI IN TRANSMISSION OF HCV INFECTION AMONG EGYPTIAN PATIENTS
Hagar A. Shaheen1Ahmed H. Mahmoud2 Azza H. Abbas1 Amal M. Nour El-Hoda1Soheir A. Ismail2 and Hoda A. Abd El-Motagale3
Departments of 1Parasitology 2Tropical Medicine and 3Biochemistry,
National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute
Many epidemiological studies done in Egypt confirmed the presence of strong association between schistosomiasis and hepatitis C viral infection (HCV). Explanation for this association was just speculations. This study is a trial to clarify the link between schistosomiasis and HCV infection. The study was carried out on 900 patients attended the outpatient clinic of National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute. We selected from them 135 subjects with no past history of operations, blood transfusion or other risk factors for transmission of HCV and classified them into 3 groups. Group I, 45 patients with schistosomiasis and their ages ranged from 18 to 35 years, Group П, 45 patients with past history of schistosomiasis and treatment by parentral therapy and their ages were above 35 years and Group Ш, 45 healthy individuals as control group who were negative for schistosomiasis by direct and indirect methods. Their ages ranged between 18 and 60 years. All groups were subjected to clinical examination, stool and urine examination, testing for schistosomal antigen in urine, serodiagnosis for schistosomiasis also determination of HCV antibodies (Ab) and PCR for HCV-RNA were done. Results showed that 9 cases (20%) were positive for HCV Ab. and 2 cases (4.4%) were positive by PCR among group І, while group II showed that 33 cases (73.3%) and 21 cases (46.6%) were positive for HCV Ab and PCR respectively. On the other hand, from group III, 6 cases (13.3%) were positive to HCV Ab. and 2 cases (4.4%) of them were positive by PCR, which was similar to group І. These results suggest that Schistosoma mansoni cannot be considered as non human vector for transmission of HCV infection. Thus the association between schistosomiasis and HCV infection in Egypt may be due to antischistosomal parenteral therapy by unsterilized syringes, or other causes in the community.