Pakistan Medical Research Council

Pakistan, Pakistan

Pakistan Medical Research Council

Pakistan, Pakistan
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Harris B.J.,Abbott Laboratories | Holzmayer V.,Abbott Laboratories | Qureshi H.,Pakistan Medical Research Council | Khan M.A.,Armed Forces Institute of Transfusion | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Background: The prevalence of chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection is 2-4% in the Pakistani population, defining Pakistan as an intermediate prevalence country. In this study, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) reactive blood donations were screened using a combination of serological and molecular methods to identify immune escape HBV mutant strains and to determine the HBV genotypes and subtypes present in Pakistan. Methods: Blood donations were collected at the Armed Forces Institute of Transfusion (AFIT) located in northern Pakistan and the Hussaini Blood Bank (HBB) located in the south. From 2009 to 2013 a total of 706,575 donations were screened with 2.04% (14,409) HBsAg reactive. A total of 2055 HBsAg reactive specimens, were collected and screened using a monoclonal antibody based research assay to identify immune escape mutants followed by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing to identify the mutation present. DNA sequences obtained from 192 specimens, including mutant candidates and wild type strains, were analyzed for escape mutations, genotype, and HBsAg subtype. Results: Mutations were identified in approximately 14% of HBsAg reactive donations. Mutations at HBsAg amino acid positions 143-145 are the most common (46%) with the mutation serine 143 to leucine the most frequently occurring change (28%). While regional differences were observed, the most prevalent HBV strains are subgenotypes of D with subgenotype D1/subtype ayw2 accounting for the majority of infections; 90.2% at AFIT and 52.5% at HBB. Conclusions: The high frequency of immune escape HBV mutants in HBV infected Pakistani blood donors highlights the need for more studies into the prevalence of escape mutants. Differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, the correlation of escape mutant frequency with genotype, and impact of escape mutations in different genotype backgrounds on the performance of commercially available HBsAg assays represent avenues for further investigation. © 2017 Harris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Raza F.A.,Pakistan Medical Research Council | Raza F.A.,University of Punjab | Rehman S.U.,University of Punjab | Khalid R.,University of Punjab | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

This cross-sectional study was carried out to explore the epidemiological and clinical features of dengue fever in Faisalabad, Pakistan during 2011 and 2012. During the study period, anti-dengue IgM positive cases were reported in the post-monsoon period during the months of August-December. Certain hotspots for the dengue infection were identified in the city that coincide with the clusters of densely populated urban regions of the city. Out of total 299 IgM positive patients (male 218 and female 81); there were 239 dengue fever (DF) and 60 dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) patients. There was decrease in the median age of dengue patients from 31 years in 2011 to 21.5 years in 2012 (p<0.001). Abdominal pain was seen in 35% DHF patients followed by nausea in 28.3%, epistaxis in 25% and rash in 20% patients (p<0.05). Patients reported to be suffering from high-grade fever for an average of 8.83 days in DHF as compared to 5.82 days in DF before being hospitalized. Co-morbidities were found to be risk factor for the development of DHF in dengue patients. Clinical and laboratory features of dengue cases studied could be used for the early identification of patients at risk of severe dengue fever. © 2014 Raza et al.


PubMed | Dow Medical College, University of Ulsan, Daman National Health Insurance Company, Ministry of Health and 60 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal of viral hepatitis | Year: 2015

Detailed, country-specific epidemiological data are needed to characterize the burden of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection around the world. With new treatment options available, policy makers and public health officials must reconsider national strategies for infection control. In this study of 15 countries, published and unpublished data on HCV prevalence, viraemia, genotype, age and gender distribution, liver transplants and diagnosis and treatment rates were gathered from the literature and validated by expert consensus in each country. Viraemic prevalence in this study ranged from 0.2% in Iran and Lebanon to 4.2% in Pakistan. The largest viraemic populations were in Pakistan (7 001 000 cases) and Indonesia (3 187 000 cases). Injection drug use (IDU) and a historically unsafe blood supply were major risk factors in most countries. Diagnosis, treatment and liver transplant rates varied widely between countries. However, comparison across countries was difficult as the number of cases changes over time. Access to reliable data on measures such as these is critical for the development of future strategies to manage the disease burden.


PubMed | Dow Medical College, University of Ulsan, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Ministry of Health and 61 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal of viral hepatitis | Year: 2015

The total number, morbidity and mortality attributed to viraemic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections change over time making it difficult to compare reported estimates from different years. Models were developed for 15 countries to quantify and characterize the viraemic population and forecast the changes in the infected population and the corresponding disease burden from 2014 to 2030. With the exception of Iceland, Iran, Latvia and Pakistan, the total number of viraemic HCV infections is expected to decline from 2014 to 2030, but the associated morbidity and mortality are expected to increase in all countries except for Japan and South Korea. In the latter two countries, mortality due to an ageing population will drive down prevalence, morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, both countries have already experienced a rapid increase in HCV-related mortality and morbidity. HCV-related morbidity and mortality are projected to increase between 2014 and 2030 in all other countries as result of an ageing HCV-infected population. Thus, although the total number of HCV countries is expected to decline in most countries studied, the associated disease burden is expected to increase. The current treatment paradigm is inadequate if large reductions in HCV-related morbidity and mortality are to be achieved.


PubMed | Dow Medical College, University of Ulsan, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Ministry of Health and 60 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal of viral hepatitis | Year: 2015

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic was forecasted through 2030 for 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and the relative impact of two scenarios was considered: increased treatment efficacy while holding the annual number of treated patients constant and increased treatment efficacy and an increased annual number of treated patients. Increasing levels of diagnosis and treatment, in combination with improved treatment efficacy, were critical for achieving substantial reductions in disease burden. A 90% reduction in total HCV infections within 15 years is feasible in most countries studied, but it required a coordinated effort to introduce harm reduction programmes to reduce new infections, screening to identify those already infected and treatment with high cure rate therapies. This suggests that increased capacity for screening and treatment will be critical in many countries. Birth cohort screening is a helpful tool for maximizing resources. Among European countries, the majority of patients were born between 1940 and 1985. A wider range of birth cohorts was seen in the Middle East and Asia (between 1925 and 1995).


Qureshi H.,Pakistan Medical Research Council | Bile K.M.,World Health Organization | Jooma R.,Ministry of Health | Alam S.E.,Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center | Afridi H.U.R.,World Health Organization
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal | Year: 2010

A prevalence survey on hepatitis B and C infections was carried out to obtain national estimates and assess epidemiological dynamics and underlying risk factors. Overall prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) of 2.5% and 4.8%, respectively, reflected a combined infection rate of 7.6% in the general population, consistent with an ongoing high burden of chronic liver disease (CLD). There was significant association of these viral infections with a range of risk factors led by reuse of syringes. These findings validate currently implemented strategies by the national programme for the control of hepatitis viral infections, including universal vaccination of newborns and high-risk groups, support of auto-disable syringes, promotion of infection control and patient safety, public health education, and management of needy CLD patients as a poverty-reduction health intervention.

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