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Vol. 45. Issue 3.
Pages 192-197 (March 2022)
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Vol. 45. Issue 3.
Pages 192-197 (March 2022)
Original article
Acute hepatitis due to the hepatitis C virus: Where are the transmission occurring?
Infección aguda por el virus de la hepatitis C: ¿en qué personas se está produciendo la transmisión?
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Rita Desirée Pérez Jiméneza, Rafael Granados Monzónb, Melisa Hernández Feblesa, María José Pena Lópeza,
Corresponding author
mpenlopd@gobiernodecanarias.org

Corresponding author.
a Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
b Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
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Tables (2)
Table 1. Epidemiological characteristics of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis C virus infection.
Table 2. Clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis C virus infection.
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Abstract
Objective

To know the transmission patterns of the acute infection by the hepatitis C virus at a time when we are close to its elimination.

Patients and methods

A prospective descriptive clinical-epidemiological study of cases of acute HCV infection diagnosed between 2016 and 2020 was carried out in a reference hospital in the island of Gran Canaria.

Results

Twenty-two cases of acute HCV were diagnosed (10 primary infections and 12 reinfections). There was an increase in the incidence from 0.6 in 2016 and 2017 to 2.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020. The median age was 46 years. From these, 77.3% were men and 68.2% were HIV-positive. According to the risk factors, 54.5% had high-risk sexual practices, 83.3% were men who had sex with men (70% with a concomitant STI), 31.8% were drug users, 9.1% were women with neuropsychiatric disorders, and one woman (4.5%) had a previous surgical intervention. There were thirteen patients (40.9%) who presented symptoms and eleven out of the thirteen patients who were asymptomatic were HIV-positive.

Conclusions

An increase in incidence was observed in the last years of the study and the main route of infection was high-risk sexual practice, mainly in men who have sex with men and who are HIV positive. Cases related to unsafe sex in other non-HIV groups are probably under-diagnosed. Microelimination strategies may not be sufficient to diagnose these cases, so in order to achieve elimination of the HCV the best strategy would be a population-based screening.

Keywords:
Acute hepatitis C
Epidemiology
Sexually transmitted infection
Resumen
Objetivo

Conocer los patrones de transmisión de la infección aguda por el virus de la hepatitis C (VHC) en un momento en que estamos próximos a su eliminación.

Pacientes y métodos

Se realizó un estudio clínico-epidemiológico descriptivo prospectivo de los casos de infección aguda por VHC diagnosticados entre los años 2016 y 2020 en un hospital de referencia de la isla de Gran Canaria.

Resultados

Se diagnosticaron 22 casos de infección aguda (10 primarios y 12 reinfecciones), observándose un incremento de incidencia de 0,6 en 2016 a 2,3 casos/100.000 habitantes en el año 2020. La mediana de edad fue de 46 años. El 77,3% eran hombres y el 68,2% eran VIH-positivos. El 54,5% mantenían relaciones sexuales de riesgo; el 83,3% eran hombres que mantenían sexo con hombres (el 70% con otra infección de transmisión sexual concomitante); el 31,8% eran consumidores de drogas, el 9,1% tenían trastornos neuropsiquiátricos y una mujer (4,5%) tuvo una intervención quirúrgica previa. El 40,9% de pacientes presentaron síntomas, y de los 13 asintomáticos, el 84,6% eran VIH-positivos.

Conclusiones

Observamos un aumento de incidencia en los últimos años del estudio, y la principal vía de contagio fue tener relaciones sexuales de riesgo, principalmente en hombres que mantienen sexo con hombres y que son VIH-positivo. Los casos en personas no-VIH con relaciones sexuales no protegidas están, probablemente, infradiagnosticados. Las estrategias de microeliminación podrían ser insuficientes para diagnosticar estos casos, por lo que para conseguir la eliminación del VHC la mejor estrategia podría ser el cribado poblacional.

Palabras clave:
Hepatitis C aguda
Epidemiología
Infección de transmisión sexual

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