The undiagnosed chronically-infected HCV population in France. Implications for expanded testing recommendations in 2014

Publié le 11 Mai 2015
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

BACKGROUND: recent HCV therapeutic advances make effective screening crucial for potential HCV eradication. To identify the target population for a possible population-based screening strategy to complement current risk-based testing in France, we aimed to estimate the number of adults with undiagnosed chronic HCV infection and age and gender distribution at two time points: 2004 and 2014. METHODS: a model taking into account mortality, HCV incidence and diagnosis rates was applied to the 2004 national seroprevalence survey. RESULTS: in 2014, an estimated 74,102 individuals aged 18 to 80 were undiagnosed for chronic HCV infection (plausible interval: 64,920-83,283) compared with 100,868 [95%CI: 58,534-143,202] in 2004. Men aged 18-59 represented approximately half of the undiagnosed population in 2014. The proportion of undiagnosed individuals in 2004 (43%) varied from 21.9% to 74.1% in the 1945-1965 and 1924-1944 birth cohorts. Consequently, age and gender distributions between the chronically-infected (diagnosed and undiagnosed) and undiagnosed HCV populations were different, the 1945-1965 birth cohort representing 48.9% and 24.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: many individuals were still undiagnosed in 2014 despite a marked reduction with respect to 2004. The present work contributed to the 2014 recommendation of a new French complementary screening strategy, consisting in one-time simultaneous HCV, HBV and HIV testing in men aged 18-60. Further studies are needed to assess the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of such a strategy. We also demonstrated that data on the undiagnosed HCV population are crucial to help adapt testing strategies, as the features of the chronically-infected HCV population are very distinct.

Auteur : Brouard C, Le Strat Y, Larsen C, Jauffret Roustide M, Lot F, Pillonel J
PloS one, 2015, vol. 10, n°. 5, p. e0126920