Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 112(4) 255-259 pii 10.1590/0074-02760160352
Porto Alegre is the Brazilian state capital with second highest incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and the highest proportion of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among patients with TB. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases the risk of anti-TB drug-induced hepatotoxicity, which may result in discontinuation of the therapy.
The aim of this study was (i) to estimate prevalence of HCV and HIV in a group of patients newly diagnosed with active TB in a public reference hospital in Porto Alegre and (ii) to compare demographic, behavioural, and clinical characteristics of patients in relation to their HCV infection status.
One hundred and thirty-eight patients with TB were tested for anti-HCV antibody, HCV RNA, and anti-HIV1/2 antibody markers. HCV RNA from real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive samples was submitted to reverse transcription and PCR amplification. The 5′ non-coding region of the HCV genome was sequenced, and genotypes of HCV isolates were determined.
Anti-HCV antibody, HCV RNA, and anti-HIV antibodies were detected in 27 [20%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 13-26%], 17 (12%; 95% CI, 7-18%), and 34 (25%; 95% CI, 17-32%) patients, respectively. HCV isolates belonged to genotypes 1 (n = 12) and 3 (n = 4). Some characteristics were significantly more frequent in patients infected with HCV. Among them, non-white individuals, alcoholics, users of illicit drugs, imprisoned individuals, and those with history of previous TB episode were more commonly infected with HCV (p < 0.05). MAIN CONCLUSIONS
HCV screening, including detection of anti-HCV antibody and HCV RNA, will be important to improving the management of co-infected patients, given their increased risk of developing TB treatment-related hepatotoxicity.