This cross sectional study was designed to investigate the frequency andpotential risk factors of anti-HCV among blood donors as well as toelucidate the most sensitive screening method for routine practice in BachaKhan Medical Complex (BKMC) Shahmansoor and District Head Quarter(DHQ) Hospital Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. A total of 3390 malevolunteer blood donors with age range 18-55 years were screened for HCVAb through an immuno-chromatographic test (ICT) and 3rd generationenzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The sensitivity of ICT andELISA was also evaluated by comparing their results. Among 3390 donors,59 (1.74 %) were found positive for HCV-Ab through ICT and 62 (1.82 %)were HCV-Ab positive by ELISA assay. The highest frequency rate (40.3 %)was observed among donors within the age group of 18-30 years followedby (27.4 %) among 31-40 years, (17.7 %) among 41-50 years and the lowestfrequency (14.5 %) was found among 51-55 years. Dental treatment (37.0%) was significantly associated with anti-HCV seropositivity followed byblood transfusion (20.9 %), major surgery (14.5 %), travel abroad andunknown reason (11.2 %) for each and the lowest anti-HCV association wasobserved among donors who shaved by the barbers (4.8 %). The resultsfrom ICT and ELISA indicated that ELISA is a more sensitive, and reliabletechnique for routine screening of blood donors to control infectiousdiseases particularly HCV infection.
Keywords: HCV-Ab, Frequency, Risk factors, Blood donors, ICT, ELISA