Hepatitis B and C infections in drug using population: Viral clearance, incidence, and vaccination prevention

Dimpy Pankil Shah, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Drug users have high risk for acquiring hepatitis B and C infections which may progress to cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Lack of hepatitis C vaccine and cure for chronic hepatitis B makes it crucial to understand the relationship between virus and host. We aimed to estimate the incidence and viral clearance of hepatitis B and C infections and associated risk factors in current, not-in-treatment drug users enrolled for a hepatitis B vaccine trial in Houston, TX. We learned that HBV clearance was observed in majority of the DUs; whereas only 15% of DUs cleared HCV. In HIV negative DUs, male sex and low SES prohibited HBV clearance. African American ethnicity was associated with decreased HCV clearance. Race, daily injection drug use, and older age increase risk for acquiring HCV infection. Accelerated hepatitis B vaccination schedule is more effective than standard schedule in preventing HBV infections in DUs. Accelerated schedule should be adopted for drug using population to prevent hepatitis B and it may be studied as a vaccination model for hepatitis C vaccine, whenever it becomes available in future. Insight into these host factors affecting the incidence and viral clearance of these infections will be helpful in the successful development of vaccines, antiviral therapies, and progress in the overall knowledge of host immunity to hepatitis viral infections.

Subject Area

Biostatistics|Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Shah, Dimpy Pankil, "Hepatitis B and C infections in drug using population: Viral clearance, incidence, and vaccination prevention" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3611306.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3611306

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