Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is more frequent among incarcerated people than in general population. In the DAAs era, the short schedules and the low risk of adverse reactions, increased the number of HCV treatments. However, the most part of literature reports lack of incarcerated women inclusion in studies on field. Our aim is to assess the screening execution, HCV prevalence, and DAAs treatment among incarcerated women. A focused insight on quick vs standard diagnosis and staging approach will be also provided.Methods: Incarcerated women from 4 Italian regions' penitentiary institutes were included. HCV screening was executed with HCV saliva test (QuickOral Test (R)) or phlebotomy. Stage of liver fibrosis was evaluated with FIB-4 value or fibroscan (R), based on physicians' decision. Treatment prescription followed national protocols.Results: We included 156 women, 89 (57%) were Italian, mean age was 41 +/- 10 years, and 28 (17.9%) were people who inject drugs (PWIDs). Overall, the HCV seroprevalence was 20.5%. Being PWID and on opioid substitution therapy (OST) were significantly associated with serological status (p-value < 0.001). Of them, the 75.5% of patients had active infection, the most frequent genotype was 3a (50%). Among them, 4 (16.6%) and 6 (25%) had psychosis or alcohol abuse history. The 62.5%, 25% and 12.5% had low, intermediate, and advanced fibrosis, respectively. Out of the 24 HCV-RNA positive patients, the 75% underwent to DAAs treatment. The sustained virological response (SVR12) was achieved in 88.8% of cases. When evaluating the influence of quick diagnosis and staging methods vs standard phlebotomy and fibroscan (R) on SVR12, FIB-4 use showed higher performance for retainment in treatment during prison staying (p = 0.015), while the use of quick saliva test had no influence on the outcome (p = 0.22).Conclusion: HCV seroprevalence and active infections are very high among incarcerated women. More tailored interventions should be focused on HCV diagnosis and treatment in female prison population. The use of quick staging methods (FIB-4) is useful to increase SVR12 achievement without delays caused by the fibroscan (R) awaiting.
HCV spread among female incarcerated population and treatment pathways to viral elimination in Italian prison settings: clinical perspectives and medico legal aspects / Fiore, Vito; Rastrelli, Elena; Madeddu, Giordano; Ranieri, Roberto; De Vito, Andrea; Giuliani, Ruggero; Di Mizio, Giulio; Bolcato, Matteo; De Matteis, Giuseppe; Ialungo, Anna Maria; Dell'Isola, Serena; Starnini, Giulio; Babudieri, Sergio. - In: BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES. - ISSN 1471-2334. - 22:1(2022), p. 601. [10.1186/s12879-022-07565-2]