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Current situation of viral hepatitis in Egypt
Microbiology and Immunology  (IF1.955),  Pub Date : 2021-05-15, DOI: 10.1111/1348-0421.12916
Ashraf Elbahrawy, Marwa K. Ibrahim, Ahmed Eliwa, Mohamed Alboraie, Ali Madian, Hussein Hassan Aly

An estimated 8–10 million people suffer from viral hepatitis in Egypt. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) are the major causes of viral hepatitis in Egypt as 50% or more of the Egyptian population are already exposed to HAV infection by the age of 15. In addition, over 60% of the Egyptian population test seropositive for anti-HEV in the first decade of life. HEV mainly causes self-limiting hepatitis; however, cases of fulminant hepatitis and liver failure were reported in Egypt. Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis D virus (HDV) are the main causes of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC]) in Egypt. Globally, Egypt had the highest age-standardized death rate due to cirrhosis from 1990 to 2017. The prevalence rate of HBV (1.3%–1.5%) has declined after national infantile immunization. Coinfection of HBV patients with HDV is common in Egypt because HDV antibodies (IgG) vary in range from 8.3% to 43% among total HBV patients. After the conduction of multiple national programs to control HCV infection, a lower rate of HCV prevalence (4.6%) was recently reported. Data about the incidence of HCV after treatment with direct antiviral agents (DAAs) are lacking. An HCC incidence of 29/1000/year in cirrhotic patients after DAA treatment is reported. A higher rate of infiltrative pattern among HCC patients after DAA treatment is also recognized. Viral hepatitis is one of the major public health concerns in Egypt that needs more attention and funding from health policymakers.