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The aim of the present study was to investigate the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV among dialysis patients in the Lamezia Terme (CZ) area during the period 1999-2002. Sera from 63 patients in haemodialysis (HD) and 10 patients in peritoneal dialysis (PD) were analyzed with a follow-up every three months for HBsAg, HBcAb, HBsAb, anti-HCV and anti-HIV (Elisa Test,AxSYM,Abbott);we analyzed reactive sera for anti-HCV by using supplemental test (RIBA Test, Ortho); we also looked for viremia (RT-PCR Amplicor, Roche Diagnostics) and HCV genotypes (Inno-Lipa HCV II, Innogenetics).The results show that, among the HD patients, 3 were HBsAg positive (Chronic Infection) and 7 HBcAb and HBsAb positive/HBsAg negative (Passed Infection); 14 individuals were anti-HCV positive. No patients in PD were positive for HBV and HCV markers.The prevalence of chronic HBV infection was 4.8% (instead of 3% in other Dialysis Units), that of anti-HCV positive was 22% (in others 24%- 33%); among anti-HCV positive patients, the HCV-RNA prevalence was 79% (instead of 80%); the most recurrent HCV genotype was 2a/2c (instead of 1b in general population).These findings lead us to hypothesize that the environmental transmission in the dialysis setting is tightly correlated to the risk of HBV and HCV infection.
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