Systematic review and meta-analysis of hepatitis C virus infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo

B. A. Muzembo, T. Akita, T. Matsuoka, J. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the prevalence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) is reported to range from 0.2% to 13.7%. However, the reported prevalence rates have been inconsistent. Therefore, a meta-analysis of observational studies was conducted to provide updates on the prevalence of HCV infection in the DRC. Study design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods Medline, EMBASE and Google Scholar were searched for publications reporting on HCV infection in the DRC up to autumn 2015. In addition, a manual search was undertaken to detect relevant papers. Studies performed in groups at low risk of HCV (blood donors and pregnant women) were used for the meta-analysis. The random effects model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence of anti-HCV. Results Sixteen studies with 13,799 participants (aged 6 months–71 years) met the inclusion criteria. The studies were performed in blood donors, pregnant women, military personnel, individuals with human immunodeficiency virus, children, commercial sex workers, Congolese patients living in Canada, patients with sickle cell disease and hospitalized patients. The reviewed studies revealed the presence of anti-HCV in almost all studied age groups and did not differ between sexes. The pooled prevalence of anti-HCV was 2.9% [95% confidence interval 1.5–4.3%]. Subgroup analyses revealed that the prevalence rates of anti-HCV in blood donors and pregnant women were 2.7% (95% confidence interval: 1.1–4.4%) and 3.3% (1.4–5.1%), respectively. Conclusions HCV infection remains an issue of public concern in the DRC, demonstrating a need for adequate hepatitis control programmes. Efforts must be made to virtually eliminate transfusion-transmitted HCV throughout the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Meta-analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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