Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Hepatitis

25 A Study of Liver Checkup in Patients with Hepatitis C in the Region of Batna

Authors: A. Zidani, M. Yahia K. Belhadi, S. Benbia

Abstract:

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease transmitted by blood and due to hepatitis C virus (HCV), which attacks the liver. The infection is characterized by liver inflammation (hepatitis) that is often asymptomatic but can progress to chronic hepatitis and later cirrhosis and liver cancer. Our problem tends to highlight on the one hand the prevalence of infectious disease in the population of the region of Batna and on other hand the biological characteristics of this disease by a screening and a specific diagnosis based on serological tests, liver checkup (measurement of haematological and biochemical parameters). The results showed: The serology of hepatitis C establishes the diagnosis of infection with hepatitis C. In this study and with the serological test, 24 cases of the disease of hepatitis C were found in 1000 suspected cases (7 cases with normal transaminases and 17 cases with elevated transaminases). The prevalence of this disease in this study population was 2.4%. The presence of hepatitis C disrupts liver function including the onset of cytolysis, cholestasis, jaundice, thrombocytopenia, and coagulation disorders.

Keywords: Disease hepatitis C, serology, liver checkup

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24 Profile of Viral Hepatitis in Saudi Arabia

Authors: A. A. Alshabanat, R. B. Albacker, A. A. Basalama, A. A. Bin Salamah, A. S. Alfrayh

Abstract:

The study was conducted to investigate the profile of hepatitis in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and to determine which age group hepatitis viruses most commonly infect. The epidemiology of viral hepatitis in Saudi Arabia has undergone major changes, concurrent with major socioeconomic developments over the last two to three decades. This disease represents a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia resulting in the need for considerable healthcare resources. A retrospective cross sectional analysis of the reported cases of viral hepatitis was conducted based on the reports of The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia about Hepatitis A, B and C infections in all regions from the period of January 2006 to December 2010. The study demonstrated that incidence of viral Hepatitis is decreasing, except for Hepatitis B that showed minimal increase. Of hepatitis A, B, and C, Hepatitis B virus (HBV) was the most predominant type, accounting for (53%) of the cases, followed by Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (30%) and HAV (17%). HAV infection predominates in children (5–14 years) with 60% of viral hepatitis cases, HBV in young adults (15–44 years) with 69% of viral hepatitis cases, and HCV in older adults (>45 years) with 59% of viral hepatitis cases. Despite significant changes in the prevalence of viral hepatitis A, B and C, it remains a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia; however, it showed a significant decline in the last two decades that could be attributed to the vaccination programs and the improved health facilities. Further researches are needed to identify the risk factors making a specific age group or a specific region in Saudi Arabia targeted for a specific type of hepatitis viruses.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Hepatitis, Saudi Arabia.

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23 The Prevalence of Transfusion-Transmitted Virus (TTV) Infection inIranian Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B

Authors: P. Ghasemi Dehkordi, A. Doosti, M. R. Hajimirzaei

Abstract:

TTV is an unenveloped circular single-stranded DNA virus with a diameter of 30-32 nm that first was described in 1997 in Japan. TTV was detected in various populations without proven pathology, including blood donors and in patients with chronic HBV and HCV hepatitis. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of TTV DNA in Iranian patients with chronic hepatitis B and C. Viral TTV-DNA was studied in 442 samples (202 with HBV, 138 with HCV and 102 controls) collected from west south of Iran. All extracted serum DNA was amplified by TTV ORF1 gene specific primers using the semi nested PCR technique. TTV DNA was detected in the serum of 8.9% and 10.8% patients with chronic hepatitis B and C, respectively. Prevalence of TTV-DNA in the serum of 102 controls was 2.9%. Results showed significant relation of TTV with HBV and HCV in patients by using T test examination (P<0.01). The prevalence of TTV-DNA in Iranian hepatitis B and C patients is rather high, and compare with other countries. To control and prevention of the distribution of TT-virus, examination of the blood and blood products it seems to be necessary.

Keywords: Transfusion-transmitted virus (TTV), Hepatitis Cvirus (HCV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV), ORF1 gene, Semi nested PCR, Iran.

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22 A Medical Resource Forecasting Model for Emergency Room Patients with Acute Hepatitis

Authors: R. J. Kuo, W. C. Cheng, W. C. Lien, T. J. Yang

Abstract:

Taiwan is a hyper endemic area for the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The estimated total number of HBsAg carriers in the general population who are more than 20 years old is more than 3 million. Therefore, a case record review is conducted from January 2003 to June 2007 for all patients with a diagnosis of acute hepatitis who were admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) of a well-known teaching hospital. The cost for the use of medical resources is defined as the total medical fee. In this study, principal component analysis (PCA) is firstly employed to reduce the number of dimensions. Support vector regression (SVR) and artificial neural network (ANN) are then used to develop the forecasting model. A total of 117 patients meet the inclusion criteria. 61% patients involved in this study are hepatitis B related. The computational result shows that the proposed PCA-SVR model has superior performance than other compared algorithms. In conclusion, the Child-Pugh score and echogram can both be used to predict the cost of medical resources for patients with acute hepatitis in the ED.

Keywords: Acute hepatitis, Medical resource cost, Artificial neural network, Support vector regression.

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21 Characterization of Liver Leukocyte Infiltrates and Features of Cytokine Profile under Viral Hepatitis-Induced Immunosuppression

Authors: Olga V. Lebedinskaya, Irina N. Kabanovskaya, Anna S. Lasareva, Nelly K. Akhmatova, Anatoliy P. Godovalov, Andrey V. Horinko, Mikhail V. Kiselevsky

Abstract:

The nature, prevalence, cellular composition of leukocyte infiltrates and immunohistochemical characteristics of their constituent cells in the liver of patients with chronic viral hepatitis B and C were investigated. It was found that the area of distribution and cellular composition of infiltrates depended on the virus type and process activity. The expediency of immunohistochemical study using leukocyte infiltrates from liver biopsies of patients with viral hepatitis aimed at clarifying diagnosis, making prognosis, and choice of optimal treatment with elements of immune correction is emphasized.

Keywords: Viral hepatitis, leukocyte infiltration, immunohistochemical characteristics, immunosupression.

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20 From Type-I to Type-II Fuzzy System Modeling for Diagnosis of Hepatitis

Authors: Shahabeddin Sotudian, M. H. Fazel Zarandi, I. B. Turksen

Abstract:

Hepatitis is one of the most common and dangerous diseases that affects humankind, and exposes millions of people to serious health risks every year. Diagnosis of Hepatitis has always been a challenge for physicians. This paper presents an effective method for diagnosis of hepatitis based on interval Type-II fuzzy. This proposed system includes three steps: pre-processing (feature selection), Type-I and Type-II fuzzy classification, and system evaluation. KNN-FD feature selection is used as the preprocessing step in order to exclude irrelevant features and to improve classification performance and efficiency in generating the classification model. In the fuzzy classification step, an “indirect approach” is used for fuzzy system modeling by implementing the exponential compactness and separation index for determining the number of rules in the fuzzy clustering approach. Therefore, we first proposed a Type-I fuzzy system that had an accuracy of approximately 90.9%. In the proposed system, the process of diagnosis faces vagueness and uncertainty in the final decision. Thus, the imprecise knowledge was managed by using interval Type-II fuzzy logic. The results that were obtained show that interval Type-II fuzzy has the ability to diagnose hepatitis with an average accuracy of 93.94%. The classification accuracy obtained is the highest one reached thus far. The aforementioned rate of accuracy demonstrates that the Type-II fuzzy system has a better performance in comparison to Type-I and indicates a higher capability of Type-II fuzzy system for modeling uncertainty.

Keywords: Hepatitis disease, medical diagnosis, type-I fuzzy logic, type-II fuzzy logic, feature selection.

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19 Artificial Intelligence Support for Interferon Treatment Decision in Chronic Hepatitis B

Authors: Alexandru George Floares

Abstract:

Chronic hepatitis B can evolve to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Interferon is the only effective treatment, for carefully selected patients, but it is very expensive. Some of the selection criteria are based on liver biopsy, an invasive, costly and painful medical procedure. Therefore, developing efficient non-invasive selection systems, could be in the patients benefit and also save money. We investigated the possibility to create intelligent systems to assist the Interferon therapeutical decision, mainly by predicting with acceptable accuracy the results of the biopsy. We used a knowledge discovery in integrated medical data - imaging, clinical, and laboratory data. The resulted intelligent systems, tested on 500 patients with chronic hepatitis B, based on C5.0 decision trees and boosting, predict with 100% accuracy the results of the liver biopsy. Also, by integrating the other patients selection criteria, they offer a non-invasive support for the correct Interferon therapeutic decision. To our best knowledge, these decision systems outperformed all similar systems published in the literature, and offer a realistic opportunity to replace liver biopsy in this medical context.

Keywords: Interferon, chronic hepatitis B, intelligent virtualbiopsy.

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18 Sensitivity Comparison between Rapid Immuno-Chromatographic Device Test and ELISA in Detection and Sero-Prevalence of HBsAg and Anti-HCV antibodies in Apparently Healthy Blood Donors of Lahore, Pakistan

Authors: Natasha Hussain, Maleeha Aslam, Robina Farooq

Abstract:

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are among the most significant hepatic infections all around the world that may lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. This study is first time performed at the blood transfussion centre of Omar hospital, Lahore. It aims to determine the sero-prevalence of these diseases by screening the apparently healthy blood donors who might be the carriers of HBV or HCV and pose a high risk in the transmission. It also aims the comparison between the sensitivity of two diagnostic tests; chromatographic immunoassay – one step test device and Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbant Assay (ELISA). Blood serum of 855 apparently healthy blood donors was screened for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and for anti HCV antibodies. SPSS version 12.0 and X2 (Chi-square) test were used for statistical analysis. The seroprevalence of HCV was 8.07% by the device method and by ELISA 9.12% and that of HBV was 5.6% by the device and 6.43% by ELISA. The unavailability of vaccination against HCV makes it more prevalent. Comparing the two diagnostic methods, ELISA proved to be more sensitive.

Keywords: ELISA, Sensitivity comparison of diagnostic tests, seroprevalence of Hepatitis B and C

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17 Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana

Authors: Stela Papa, Klementina Puto, Migena Pllaha

Abstract:

HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.

Keywords: CLIA, ELISA, hepatitis C virus, immunoassay.

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16 Impact of Hepatitis C Virus Chronic Infection on Quality of Life in Egypt

Authors: Ammal M. Metwally, Ghada A. Abdel-Latif, Walaa A. Fouad, Thanaa M. Rabah, Amira Mohsen, Fatma A. Shaaban, Iman I. Salama

Abstract:

The study aimed at determining the impact of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on patients’ Quality of Life (QoL), its relation to geographical characteristics of patients, awareness of the disease, treatment regimen, co-morbid psychiatric or other diseases. 457 patients were randomly selected from ten National Treatment Reference Centers of Ministry of Health hospitals from four community locations representing Egypt. Health related QoL assessment questionnaire with the 36-item Short Form used for assessment of the enrolled patients. The study showed no significant difference between HCV patients in different governorates as regards total QoL. Females, illiterate patients and those had bilharziasis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension or were depressed had significantly the lowest QoL score. HCV patients who knew the danger of the disease had significant lower mean score of physical and mental health components. Optimal care of overall well-being of HCV patients requires adequate knowledge of their neurological and psychological status. It is important to know how to cope with having a family member with hepatitis C and more importantly to know what should you say and what shouldn’t you say as a positive hopeful attitude is essential for combating HCV chronic infection.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus chronic infection, physical health component and mental health component of QoL, total quality of life.

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15 Level of Behavioral Development for Hepatitis C Virus Cases versus Their Contacts: Does Infection Make a Difference and What Is Beyond?

Authors: Ammal M. Metwally, Lobna A. El Etreby, Rehan M. Saleh, Ghada Abdrabou, Somia I. Salama, Amira Orabi, Mohamed Abdelrahman

Abstract:

Hepatitis C virus infection is a public health threat in Egypt. To control infection, efforts should be spent to encourage healthy behavior. This study aimed to assess the level of behavioral development in order to create a positive environment for the adoption of the recommended behaviors. The study was conducted over one year from Jan. 2011 till Jan. 2012.Knowledge, attitude and behavior of 540 HCV patients and 102 of their contacts were assessed and the level of behavioral development was determined. The study revealed that the majority of patients and contacts knew that HCV infection is dangerous with perceived concern for early diagnosis and treatment. More than 75% knew the correct modes of transmission. The assessment showed positive attitudes towards the recommended practices with intention to adopt those practices. Strategies of creating opportunities to continue the recommended behaviors should be adopted together with the reinforcement of social support.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Level of behavioral development, recommended behaviors.

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14 The Need for Including Hepatitis a Vaccine in Routine Childhood Immunization Programs in Europe as a Response to the Influx of Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regions

Authors: S. Ramia, N. Melhem, K. Kreidieh

Abstract:

The world is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis. Recently, over 1.1 million asylum seekers have been granted protection status in the European Union (EU). The majority of these asylum seekers were from countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.This influx carries with it a potential introduction of infectious diseases that have been eliminated in the EU, which poses a challenge for EU health authorities. Compared to MENA region countries where Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) endemicity is high to intermediate, member states of the EU show very low (Western Europe) to low (Eastern Europe) levels of HAV endemicity. Because of this situation, there is an ongoing public health concern in high-income countries, like members of the EU, that many adults remain susceptible to HAV outbreaks. The overwhelming majority of the EU members’ states do not include HAV vaccine in their immunization calendars. Hence, this paper urgently calls for the implementation of new policies regarding HAV in EU members’ states.

Keywords: European Union, Hepatitis A, MENA Region Refugees, Vaccine preventable diseases.

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13 Controllability of Efficiency of Antiviral Therapy in Hepatitis B Virus Infections

Authors: Shyam S.N. Perera

Abstract:

An optimal control problem for a mathematical model of efficiency of antiviral therapy in hepatitis B virus infections is considered. The aim of the study is to control the new viral production, block the new infection cells and maintain the number of uninfected cells in the given range. The optimal controls represent the efficiency of antiviral therapy in inhibiting viral production and preventing new infections. Defining the cost functional, the optimal control problem is converted into the constrained optimization problem and the first order optimality system is derived. For the numerical simulation, we propose the steepest descent algorithm based on the adjoint variable method. A computer program in MATLAB is developed for the numerical simulations.

Keywords: Virus infection model, Optimal control, Adjoint system, Steepest descent

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12 Assessing Psycho-Social Stressors for Chronically Infected Hepatitis C Virus Patients in Egypt

Authors: Ammal M. Metwally, Dalia M. Elmosalami, Walaa A. Fouad, Abla G. Khalifa, Lobna A. El Etreby, Mohamed AbdelRahman

Abstract:

People with hepatitis C are likely to experience psychological distress related to adjustment issues following diagnosis. Objective: The study was conducted to determine the psycho-social stressors accompanying Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. The study focused on immediate and later on reactions to being diagnosed as infected HCV patients. Effect of HCV on disruption of patients’ relationships in term of family relationship and friendship, employment and financial status was assessed. The magnitude and causes of the social stigma and its relation to awareness about illness, level of education were also assessed. Methods: During this study the subjective experiences of people having HCV was explored through a designed questionnaire targeted 540 cases; 359 males and 181 females from ten out of 21 National Treatment Reference Centers of National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institutes of Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals. The study was conducted along a period of six months from September 2011 to March 2012. Results: The study revealed that the financial problems are the commonest problems faced by 75.5% of the cases. More than 70% of the cases suffered from immediate sadness versus 67.4% suffered from worry. Social stigma was reported by 13 % of HCV +patients, the majority of which were females. Conclusions: Exploring the psychosocial consequences of HCV infection can act as pressing motivators for behavior change needed for limiting HCV endemicity in Egypt.

Keywords: Egypt, HCV infection, psychosocial adjustment, stigma.

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11 A Neural Computing-Based Approach for the Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors: Marina Gorunescu, Florin Gorunescu, Kenneth Revett

Abstract:

Hepatocellular carcinoma, also called hepatoma, most commonly appears in a patient with chronic viral hepatitis. In patients with a higher suspicion of HCC, such as small or subtle rising of serum enzymes levels, the best method of diagnosis involves a CT scan of the abdomen, but only at high cost. The aim of this study was to increase the ability of the physician to early detect HCC, using a probabilistic neural network-based approach, in order to save time and hospital resources.

Keywords: Early HCC diagnosis, probabilistic neural network.

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10 Description of Reported Foodborne Diseases in Selected Communities within the Greater Accra Region-Ghana: Epidemiological Review of Surveillance Data

Authors: Benjamin Osei-Tutu, Henrietta Awewole Kolson

Abstract:

Background: Acute gastroenteritis is one of the frequently reported Out-Patient Department (OPD) cases. However, the causative pathogens of these cases are rarely identified at the OPD due to delay in laboratory results or failure to obtain specimens before antibiotics is administered. Method: A retrospective review of surveillance data from the Adentan Municipality, Accra, Ghana that were recorded in the National foodborne disease surveillance system of Ghana, was conducted with the main aim of describing the epidemiology and food practice of cases reported from the Adentan Municipality. The study involved a retrospective review of surveillance data kept on patients who visited health facilities that are involved in foodborne disease surveillance in Ghana, from January 2015 to December 2016. Results: A total of 375 cases were reviewed and these were classified as viral hepatitis (hepatitis A and E), cholera (Vibrio cholerae), dysentery (Shigella sp.), typhoid fever (Salmonella sp.) or gastroenteritis. Cases recorded were all suspected case and the average cases recorded per week was 3. Typhoid fever and dysentery were the two main clinically diagnosed foodborne illnesses. The highest number of cases were observed during the late dry season (Feb to April), which marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season. Relatively high number of cases was also observed during the late wet seasons (Jul to Oct) when the rainfall is the heaviest. Home-made food and street vended food were the major sources of suspected etiological food, recording 49.01% and 34.87% of the cases respectively. Conclusion: Majority of cases recorded were classified as gastroenteritis due to the absence of laboratory confirmation. Few cases were classified as typhoid fever and dysentery based on clinical symptoms presented. Patients reporting with foodborne diseases were found to consume home meal and street vended foods as their predominant source of food.

Keywords: Accra, etiologic food, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, illness, surveillance.

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9 Ultrasensitive Hepatitis B Virus Detection in Blood Using Nano-Porous Silicon Oxide: Towards POC Diagnostics

Authors: N. Das, N. Samanta, L. Pandey, C. Roy Chaudhuri

Abstract:

Early diagnosis of infection like Hep-B virus in blood is important for low cost medical treatment. For this purpose, it is desirable to develop a point of care device which should be able to detect trace quantities of the target molecule in blood. In this paper, we report a nanoporous silicon oxide sensor which is capable of detecting down to 1fM concentration of Hep-B surface antigen in blood without the requirement of any centrifuge or pre-concentration. This has been made possible by the presence of resonant peak in the sensitivity characteristics. This peak is observed to be dependent only on the concentration of the specific antigen and not on the interfering species in blood serum. The occurrence of opposite impedance change within the pores and at the bottom of the pore is responsible for this effect. An electronic interface has also been designed to provide a display of the virus concentration.

Keywords: Impedance spectroscopy, Ultrasensitive detection in blood, Peak frequency, Electronic interface.

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8 Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Egyptian Children Vaccinated during Infancy

Authors: Iman I. Salama, Samia M. Sami, Somaia I. Salama, Zeinab N. Said, Thanaa M. Rabah, Aida M. Abdel-Mohsin

Abstract:

This is a national community based project to evaluate effectiveness of HBV vaccination program in prevention of infection. HBV markers were tested in the sera of 3600 vaccinated children. Infected children were followed up for 1 year. Prevalence of HBV infection was 0.39 % (0.28% positive for anti-HBc, 0.03% positive for HBsAg and 0.08% positive for both). One year later, 50% of positive anti-HBc children turned negative with sustained positivity for positive HBsAg cases. HBV infection was significantly higher at age above 9 years (0.6%) compared to 0.2% at age 3-9 years and 0% at younger age (P<0.05). Logistic analysis revealed that predictors for HBV infection were history of blood transfusion, regular medical injection, and family history of either HBV infection or drug abuse (adjusted odds ratios 6.2, 5.6, 7.6 & 19.1 respectively). HBV vaccination program produced adequate protection. Adherence to infection control measures and safe blood transfusion are recommended.

Keywords: Children, Egypt, HBV Infection, HBV Vaccine.

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7 A Novel Method for Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Hepatitis C Virus Using Electromagnetic Signal Detection: A Multicenter International Study

Authors: Gamal Shiha, Waleed Samir, Zahid Azam, Premashis Kar, Saeed Hamid, Shiv Sarin

Abstract:

A simple, rapid and non-invasive electromagnetic sensor (C-FAST device) was- patented; for diagnosis of HCV RNA. Aim: To test the validity of the device compared to standard HCV PCR. Subjects and Methods: The first phase was done as pilot in Egypt on 79 participants; the second phase was done in five centers: one center from Egypt, two centers from Pakistan and two centers from India (800, 92 and 113 subjects respectively). The third phase was done nationally as multicenter study on (1600) participants for ensuring its representativeness. Results: When compared to PCR technique, C-FAST device revealed sensitivity 95% to 100%, specificity 95.5% to 100%, PPV 89.5% to 100%, NPV 95% to 100% and positive likelihood ratios 21.8% to 38.5%. Conclusion: It is practical evidence that HCV nucleotides emit electromagnetic signals that can be used for its identification. As compared to PCR, C-FAST is an accurate, valid and non-invasive device.

Keywords: C-FAST- a valid and reliable device, Distant cellular interaction, Electromagnetic signal detection, Non-invasive diagnosis of HCV.

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6 Comparison between Associative Classification and Decision Tree for HCV Treatment Response Prediction

Authors: Enas M. F. El Houby, Marwa S. Hassan

Abstract:

Combined therapy using Interferon and Ribavirin is the standard treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, the number of responders to this treatment is low, whereas its cost and side effects are high. Therefore, there is a clear need to predict patient’s response to the treatment based on clinical information to protect the patients from the bad drawbacks, Intolerable side effects and waste of money. Different machine learning techniques have been developed to fulfill this purpose. From these techniques are Associative Classification (AC) and Decision Tree (DT). The aim of this research is to compare the performance of these two techniques in the prediction of virological response to the standard treatment of HCV from clinical information. 200 patients treated with Interferon and Ribavirin; were analyzed using AC and DT. 150 cases had been used to train the classifiers and 50 cases had been used to test the classifiers. The experiment results showed that the two techniques had given acceptable results however the best accuracy for the AC reached 92% whereas for DT reached 80%.

Keywords: Associative Classification, Data mining, Decision tree, HCV, interferon.

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5 Energy Fields as Alternative Cures for Viral Diseases

Authors: S. Amirhassan Monadjemi, Narges Zarrabi, Naser Neamatbakhsh

Abstract:

As days go by, we hear more and more about HIV, Ebola, Bird Flu and other dreadful viruses which were unknown a few decades ago. In both detecting and fighting viral diseases ordinary methods have come across some basic and important difficulties. Vaccination is by a sense introduction of the virus to the immune system before the occurrence of the real case infection. It is very successful against some viruses (e.g. Poliomyelitis), while totally ineffective against some others (e.g. HIV or Hepatitis-C). On the other hand, Anti-virus drugs are mostly some tools to control and not to cure a viral disease. This could be a good motivation to try alternative treatments. In this study, some key features of possible physical-based alternative treatments for viral diseases are presented. Electrification of body parts or fluids (especially blood) with micro electric signals with adjusted current or frequency is also studied. The main approach of this study is to find a suitable energy field, with appropriate parameters that are able to kill or deactivate viruses. This would be a lengthy, multi-disciplinary research which needs the contribution of virology, physics, and signal processing experts. It should be mentioned that all the claims made by alternative cures researchers must be tested carefully and are not advisable at the time being.

Keywords: Alternative Cure, Viral disease, HIV, signals, energy filed.

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4 Efficacy of Biosimilar Pegylated Interferon Alpha 40 KD (Peg INF) in Chronic Hepatitis C Infection

Authors: Ghias ul Hassan, Bilal Nasir, Israr ul Haque, ShafiqAwan, Ghias Un NabiTayyab, S. Hassan Akhtar Bokhari, Khawar Saeed, Qazi Masroor

Abstract:

Introduction: Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin combination is standard of care in the management of chronic HCV infected patients. Efficacy of the therapy is judged by the ability to achieve biochemical and virological response as judged by RVR, EVR, ETR and SVR.Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of newly marketed biosimilar Pegylated Interferon Alpha 40KD (Peg INF) in chronic HCV patients. Materials and methods: This was observational, prospective multicentre study to evaluate the ability of biosimilar pegylated interferon alfa 2a (40KD) along with Ribavirin (weight based) to achieve SVR. The enrolled patients were separated into Naïve (A), Relapsers (B) and Non Responders(C) based on the previous history of interferon exposure and its response. The RGT was followed on ALT and RVR, EVR, ETR and SVR.Results:As per protocol analysis estimated SVR for three groups is 86.6% for naïve, 89.4% for relapsers and 52.4% for non-responders to standard interferon. Conclusion: It is concluded that Bio-similar pegylated interferon alfa-2a (40kD) along with Ribavirin has good anti-viral efficacy in Naïve, Relapsers and Non-responders to standard IFN of chronic HCV infected patients requiring treatment.

Keywords: SVR (Sustained virological response), NR (Nonresponders), Pegylated Interferon.

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3 Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water Collected from Different Regions of Kuwait

Authors: Abu Salim Mustafa

Abstract:

Water plays a major role in maintaining life on earth, but it can also serve as a matrix for pathogenic organisms, posing substantial health threats to humans. Although, outbreaks of diseases attributable to drinking water may not be common in industrialized countries, they still occur and can lead to serious acute, chronic, or sometimes fatal health consequences. The analysis of drinking water samples from different regions of Kuwait was performed in this study for bacterial and viral contaminations. Drinking tap water samples were collected from 15 different locations of the six Kuwait governorates. All samples were analyzed by confocal microscopy for the presence of bacteria. The samples were cultured in vitro to detect cultivable organisms. DNA was isolated from the cultured organisms and the identity of the bacteria was determined by sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA genes, followed by BLAST analysis in the database of NCBI, USA. RNA was extracted from water samples and analyzed by real-time PCR for the detection of viruses with potential health risks, i.e. Astrovirus, Enterovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Hepatitis A. Confocal microscopy showed the presence of bacteria in some water samples. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing of culture grown organisms, followed by BLAST analysis, identified the presence of several non-pathogenic bacterial species. However, one sample had Acinetobacter baumannii, which often causes opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people, but none of the studied viruses could be detected in the drinking water samples analyzed. The results indicate that drinking water samples analyzed from various locations in Kuwait are relatively safe for drinking and do not contain many harmful pathogens.

Keywords: Drinking water, 16S rRNA, microbial diversity, viruses, Kuwait.

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2 Achievements of Healthcare Services Vis-À-Vis the Millennium Development Goals Targets: Evidence from Pakistan

Authors: Saeeda Batool, Ather Maqsood Ahmed

Abstract:

This study investigates the impact of public healthcare facilities and socio-economic circumstances on the status of child health in Pakistan. The complete analysis is carried out in correspondence with fourth and sixth millennium development goals. Further, the health variables chosen are also inherited from targeted indicators of the mentioned goals (MDGs). Trends in the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for both health inequalities and coverage are analyzed using the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PLSM) data set for 2001-02 to 2012-13 at the national and provincial level. To reveal the relative importance of each circumstance in achieving the targeted values for child health, Shorrocks decomposition is applied on HOI. The annual point average growth rate of HOI is used to simulate the time period for the achievement of target set by MDGs and universal access also. The results indicate an improvement in HOI for a reduction in child mortality rates from 52.1% in 2001-02 to 67.3% in 2012-13, which confirms the availability of healthcare opportunities to a larger segment of society. Similarly, immunization against measles and other diseases such as Diphtheria, Polio, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and Hepatitis has also registered an improvement from 51.6% to 69.9% during the period of study at the national level. On a positive note, no gender disparity has been found for child health indicators and that health outcome is mostly affected by the parental and geographical features and availability of health infrastructure. However, the study finds that this achievement has been uneven across provinces. Pakistan is not only lagging behind in achieving its health goals, disappointingly with the current rate of health care provision, but it will take many additional years to achieve its targets.

Keywords: Socio-economic circumstances, unmet MDGs, public healthcare services, child and infant mortality.

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1 Application of Gamma Frailty Model in Survival of Liver Cirrhosis Patients

Authors: Elnaz Saeedi, Jamileh Abolaghasemi, Mohsen Nasiri Tousi, Saeedeh Khosravi

Abstract:

Goals and Objectives: A typical analysis of survival data involves the modeling of time-to-event data, such as the time till death. A frailty model is a random effect model for time-to-event data, where the random effect has a multiplicative influence on the baseline hazard function. This article aims to investigate the use of gamma frailty model with concomitant variable in order to individualize the prognostic factors that influence the liver cirrhosis patients’ survival times. Methods: During the one-year study period (May 2008-May 2009), data have been used from the recorded information of patients with liver cirrhosis who were scheduled for liver transplantation and were followed up for at least seven years in Imam Khomeini Hospital in Iran. In order to determine the effective factors for cirrhotic patients’ survival in the presence of latent variables, the gamma frailty distribution has been applied. In this article, it was considering the parametric model, such as Exponential and Weibull distributions for survival time. Data analysis is performed using R software, and the error level of 0.05 was considered for all tests. Results: 305 patients with liver cirrhosis including 180 (59%) men and 125 (41%) women were studied. The age average of patients was 39.8 years. At the end of the study, 82 (26%) patients died, among them 48 (58%) were men and 34 (42%) women. The main cause of liver cirrhosis was found hepatitis 'B' with 23%, followed by cryptogenic with 22.6% were identified as the second factor. Generally, 7-year’s survival was 28.44 months, for dead patients and for censoring was 19.33 and 31.79 months, respectively. Using multi-parametric survival models of progressive and regressive, Exponential and Weibull models with regard to the gamma frailty distribution were fitted to the cirrhosis data. In both models, factors including, age, bilirubin serum, albumin serum, and encephalopathy had a significant effect on survival time of cirrhotic patients. Conclusion: To investigate the effective factors for the time of patients’ death with liver cirrhosis in the presence of latent variables, gamma frailty model with parametric distributions seems desirable.

Keywords: Frailty model, latent variables, liver cirrhosis, parametric distribution.

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