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Viral hepatitis is one of the conspicuous causes of hepatitis causing serious losses all over the world especially Pakistan. This cross-sectional study was aimed to screen preoperative general surgery patients in Quetta Balochistan, Pakistan. A total of 1000 (male = 627: female =373) individuals were screened through one step Immunochromatography (ICT) and the positive samples were reconfirmed through ELISA during 2016. Overall, 48/1000 (4.8 %) and 55/1000 (5.5 %) patients were found positive with ICT and ELISA, respectively. On ethnic basis, Hazara community were the most affected one viz, 3/25 (12.0 %), followed by Pashtuns 35/559 (6.2%), Punjabi/ Urdu Speakers 4/86 (4.6%) and Baloch 13/330 (3.9 %) patients were positive. Similarly, on sex basis 29/627 (4.6%) and 26/373 (6.9 %) anti-Hepatitis-C virus antibodies were detected in male and female patients, correspondingly. On age basis, more productive age (51-60 years) patients were found more susceptible to the disease than younger age with highest prevalence of 5/21 (23.8 %) followed by 17/188 (9.0 %) in 41-50 years age patients. While least prevalence of 3/162 (1.85 %) followed by 14/406 (3.44 %) and 16/223 (7.17 %) in 0-15, 16-30 and 31-40 years patients were recorded. Similarly, ELISA was found more sensitive than ICT kit method. This study highlights the circulation of viral hepatitis in public of the province equally in both sexes and all ages. The data collected will help in making strategic policies to control the infection in the community in future.
Keywords: ELISA; ICT; Hepatitis C; Quetta; Surgery patients