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Zagazig University, Egypt
Title: Surveillance and impact of occult hepatitis B virus, SEN virus and TT virus among hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in the Eastern Province of Egypt

Fatma Amer graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt and got her MSc and PhD degrees from the same university. She is the past head of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in Zagazig Faculty of Medicine, Egypt and the past president of the Arab Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antimicrobials. Currently she is an emeritus professor in the same university, the president of Hepatitis Working Group/International Society of Chemotherapy and Infection and is a board member of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. She supervised and evaluated many MSc and PhD theses, and is a reviewer of manuscripts submitted for journals, conferences and international awards. She published numerous articles. She has been given many national, regional and international awards. Through fund raising and provision of technical assistance she was the first to introduce automated Microbiology Service in her university and participated in the establishment of the Molecular Biology Unit in the Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department. She introduced an MSc degree in Infection Control at her faculty. She developed two volumes of Infection Control books; the first of their kind in Egypt. She participated in conferences all over the world as organizer, chairperson and speaker.


Egypt ranks the first as regards prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection. Many patients have concomitant diseases like kidney disorders which necessitate hemodialysis, a procedure posing risk of transmitting other hepatitis viral infections. Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is blood- borne and Torque teno virus (TTV) and SEN virus (mainly D and H genotypes) are tentatively linked to non-A-E hepatitis. The purpose of this study is the surveillance of OBI, SEN virus and TTV in chronic HCV (CHC) infected patients on maintenance hemodialysis in Sharkya Governorate, Egypt and to identify their impact. Three hundred and twenty- five patients were enrolled. They were divided into two groups. Group 1 (case patients; 130 HCV RNA positive) and Group 2 (controls; 195 HCV RNA negative patients). All patients’ data were recorded. Blood samples were collected before hemodialysis. Sera were tested for antibodies to hepatitis B core (HBc) and surface antigens (HBs) using ELISA. HBV, SEN virus-D and SEN virus-H and TTV DNAs were detected by polymerase chain reaction. The serum activity of alanine and aspartate aminotransferase were measured. Results were statistically analyzed. Positive anti-HBc antibodies and HBV DNA were identified in 73.1% and 50.8% of group 1, versus 36.4% and 22.6% of group 2 patients respectively (statistically significant). Significant elevation of aminotransferases was identified among group 1 than group 2 patients. SEN virus was identified in 15 (11.5) of group 1; 6 SEN-D and 9 SEN-H versus 16 (8.2%) of group 2 patients; all were SEN-D. TTV was identified in 38 (29%) of group 1 versus 53 (27%) of group 2 patients. The existence of neither SEN nor TTV had significant implications. Due to high occurrence of OBI in our locality, diagnosis is recommended before hemodialysis for CHC patients. No importance of SEN virus and TT viruses is identified.

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