Open Access Minireview Article

Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Egypt

Fatma A. Amer, Maha Gohar, Monkez Yousef

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 119-131
DOI: 10.9734/IJTDH/2015/15727

Hepatitis C virus constitutes an epidemic in Egypt having the highest prevalence in the world of 14.7%. The reasons behind this unique epidemic may be dated back to iatrogenic role of parenteral antischistosomal therapy campaigns to control endemic schistosomiasis. Other routes of infection are contributing to the ongoing HCV transmission. The prevalent genotype in Egypt is type 4 (73%), the origin, evolution, and dynamics are difï¬cult to determine. Risk factors for acquiring HCV infection include: History of antischistosomal injection treatment before 1986, old age, male gender, and residence in rural areas. Other risk factors include; injection therapy, blood transfusion prior to 1994, exposure to various facility-based medical procedures, and occupational transmission among health care workers. In community settings, a set of risk factors, mostly related to prevailing social and cultural conditions, are responsible for maintaining the high rates of HCV transmission. Chronic HCV is the main cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in Egypt and, indeed, one of the top five leading causes of death. It kills an estimated 40,000 Egyptians a year.
When talking about children, current HCV seroprevalenceis high, approximately 5-8%. It is to be emphasized that HCV infection is not always benign in the childhood period in Egypt. It has been shown that blood transfusion, surgical procedures, dental treatment, male circumcision and age above 10 years are important risk factors associated with anti-HCV antibody prevalence. In addition, vertical transmissions, and household transmission have been documented as routes of transmission.
Occult HCV infection is defined as elevated liver function tests and negative HCV antibodies in serum, while HCV RNA is detectable in liver tissue and peripheral polymorphonuclear cells (PBMCs). Interest in occult HCV has emerged recently in Egypt. Studies at a national level are being carried out, but no results have yet been released. Many small scale studies have been performed among particular patient groups, which have highlighted the importance of this disease entity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence of Malaria in the Highlands of Obudu Cattle Ranch, Nigeria

I. G. Ukpong, S. E. Etim, E. I. Ogban, L. L. Abua

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 87-93
DOI: 10.9734/IJTDH/2015/14609

Studies on highland malaria have been spurred by reports of rising incidence of the infection at altitudes where the malaria vector was not previously found. Preliminary studies were carried out in Obudu Cattle Ranch communities located at an altitude of 1,585 meters above sea level in the heart of the tropical rainforest of Cross River State of Nigeria; to determine the prevalence, knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of malaria. The study methodology included the use of questionnaires and secondary data. A four-year prevalence study using malaria data from 2008 to 2011 revealed high transmission rate of malaria on the highlands, with 324 reported cases and a high and fluctuating prevalence rates ranging from 39.61/1000 in 2008 to 68.87/1000 in 2009; and 82.29/1000 in 2010 to 49.1/1000 in 2011. Analysis of seasonal incidence showed higher incidence (68.5%) in the wet season with temperature range of 4°C – 10°C than the dry season with temperature range of 26°C – 32°C. Malaria incidence was significantly related with season and sex (P < 0.05). Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years were the most affected (33.64%); the under-fives constituted 24.69% while the aged, over 60 years of age, constituted 4.62% of total population infected. The study recorded high level of ignorance of disease etiology (62.5%); and negative attitude and practice of malaria treatment, with high preference for self medication (37.5%) and traditional medicine (12.5%).
While the study has documented prevalence of mountain malaria in the region, it has set the stage for in-depth inquiry into the role of climate change on malaria incidence and its implications to public health in Nigeria’s most valued mountain resort.

Open Access Original Research Article

Demographic and Hearing Related Variables Important for Prediction of Disabling Hearing Impairment: A Community Based Survey

Abdulazeez Ahmed, Fatimah I. Tsiga-Ahmed

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 94-101
DOI: 10.9734/IJTDH/2015/16822

Aim: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Disabling Hearing impairment and describe socio-demographic and hearing related risk factors as possible predictors of disabling hearing impairment.
Study Design: This was a Cross-sectional and descriptive study
Place and Duration of Study: A semi-urban district called Kumbotso in Kano state, Northern Nigeria. 3rd March 2013.
Methodology: Data came from 58 participants, (39 females, 19 males; age range 5-50 years) who completed audiometric testing during the Ear diseases/Hearing impairment survey. Audiometric testing was performed on the participants, air-conduction hearing thresholds in decibels hearing level (dB HL) were obtained for each ear at frequencies of 0.5- 4kHz. Disabling Hearing loss was defined as pure-tone average of air conduction thresholds of ≥ 35dB HL for adults and children while identifying independent risk factors using logistic regression.
Results: Out of 91 subjects, 58 subjects had pure tone audiometry giving a participation rate of 63.7% with a prevalence rate for disabling hearing loss of 31%. Controlling for gender, duration of hearing impairment, family history and relationship with subject with hearing loss, odds ratio for associations with Disabling Hearing impairment were 14.57 (95% CI: 2.14-99.44) for age and 61.55 (5.60-112.82) for aetiology of hearing loss. These variables particularly young age and ear diseases were the strongest predictors.
Conclusion: Age, aetiology of hearing loss particularly, young age and the presence of ear disease are potential indicators for the development of disabling hearing impairment/loss during rural and/or community-based surveys.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Cross-sectional Study on the Sero-prevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) among Apparently Healthy Students of a Tertiary Institution in North-Eastern Nigeria

M. Y. Tula, O. Iyoha

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 102-108
DOI: 10.9734/IJTDH/2015/16469

Aims: This study was carried out to ascertain the prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection and its relationship to gender and age among apparently healthy students of a tertiary institution in North-eastern Nigeria.
Study Design: Sero-prevalence of HBsAg in relation to gender and age.
Place and Duration of Study: Federal Polytechnic Mubi, North-eastern Nigeria, between August 2013 and September, 2014.
Methodology: In this study, 200 apparently healthy students of a tertiary institution in North-eastern Nigeria were screened randomly to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). To achieve this, 200 blood samples were screened in a step wise order using One Step Strip Style HBsAg test. The blood was allowed to retract and then centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 10 minutes. The test device was dipped into the serum sample for 3 sec and read after 10 min.
Results: The result showed an overall HBsAg seroprevalence of 31.5%. The seroprevalence of HBsAg among males (43%) was higher than that of females (27%) but with no statistical significant difference (p=0.462). The age-specific distribution of HBsAg among subjects in this study showed higher HBsAg prevalence rate among the age group 35 & above (50%), closely followed by the age group 30-34 (48%) with no statistical significant difference between all the age groups (p=0.353).
Conclusion: The result of this study confirmed the high endemicity of HBsAg among apparently healthy individuals in North-eastern Nigeria which is alarming. It is therefore recommended that as a matter of urgency Nigerian government should extend HBV vaccination programme to the adult folks and not just limited to the national childhood immunization programme.

Open Access Original Research Article

Oviposition Site Selection and Habitat Characterization of Anopheles Mosquito in Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria

Evelyn O. Emosairue, Theodora I. Ogharanduku, Jephtha C. Nmor

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 109-118
DOI: 10.9734/IJTDH/2015/11813

Background: Malaria still remains a life-threatening disease worldwide causing between 190 and 311 million cases of malaria in 2008. Due to the ever increasing resistance to malaria drugs, source reduction has been recognized as a complementary approach to further reduce malaria transmission. Given that the availability of suitable habitats for the oviposition of anopheline mosquitoes increases their breeding and possibly malaria transmission. We proposed that characterizing the breeding site of Anopheles is of major importance for the transition from malaria control to elimination in our study area. However, information on the oviposition sites, characteristics and influencing factors of breeding sites of Anopheles mosquitoes is lacking. This study aimed to determine the preferential oviposition sites, breeding site characteristics and related environmental parameters.
Methods: A study was undertaken in Abraka, Delta State to determine the preferential oviposition sites of Anopheles mosquito and characterize such sites. Potential larval habitats that might harbor anopheline immatures were sampled between August and September. The larval sampling was done by the standard dipping method. The habitats were characterized based on substrate type, turbidity, habitat type, algal coverage, canopy coverage, surrounding vegetation, surface debris and distance to the nearest house. A two way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to test for significant difference in the occurrence of anopheline and culicine larvae in the different aquatic habitats sampled. Correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between the environmental variables and the occurrence of the anopheline larvae in the habitats sampled and also to assess the relationship among the environmental variables examined.
Results: A total of 80 aquatic habitats in 8 sites were sampled and 1117 anopheline and 370 culicine larvae were collected. Microscopic identification of the adult Anopheles mosquitoes yielded only Anopheles gambiae. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the occurrence of anopheline and culicine larvae in the different habitats sampled, but there was significant difference (P<0.05) for habitat type distribution for anophelines only and culicines only. Correlation analysis revealed that the occurrence of anopheline larvae was correlated with some of the environmental variables examined.
Conclusion: The results obtained indicate that Anopheles gambiae prefers open, sunlit and undisturbed habitats for oviposition and that abiotic factors play a vital role in larvae’s habitat preference. Thus such factors should be considered when designing an integrated vector control programs.