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Borris Rosnay Tietcheu Galani, Richard Njouom and Paul Fewou Moundipa

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan countries and particularly in Cameroon where the prevalence rate is around 7.6% in the age group of 55–59 years. Recent investigations into this infection allowed defining a national seroprevalence, characterizing virological and biological profiles of infected patients and identifying medicinal plants of potential interest in hepatitis C therapy. However, in Cameroon, no existing report currently presents a good overview of hepatitis C research in relation to these parameters. This review seeks to discuss major findings published since 2001 that have significantly advanced our understanding of the epidemiology and treatment of hepatitis C in Cameroonian patients and highlight the major challenges that remain to overcome. We performed a systematic search in Pubmed and Google Scholar. Studies evaluating prevalence, treatment, coinfection, and genetic diversity of HCV infection in Cameroon were included. Studies suggest that HCV prevalence in Cameroon would be low (around 1.1%) with a lot of disparities according to regions and age of participants. Elders, pregnant women, blood donors, health care workers, patients on hemodialysis, and homozygous sickle cell patients have been identified as risk groups. Moreover, HCV/HBV coinfection was found more prevalent than HCV/HIV coinfection. Phylogenic studies reported circulation of three main genotypes such genotypes 1, 2, and 4 but little is known about antiviral candidates from the Cameroonian pharmacopeia. In conclusion, some epidemiological data prove that hepatitis C in Cameroon is well known but efforts are still necessary to prevent or control this infection.