Background and Aims: Iran is a vast country with a population of different ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, a wide variation in the frequencies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes is expected to occur.
Methods: To address this issue, 116 serum samples from HCV RNA-positive carriers representing different parts of Iran were collected from 2000-2005 and were tested by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method.
Results: 1a, 1b, and 3a were the predominant genotypes circulating throughout the country with an overall prevalence rate of 61.2%, 13.8%, and 25%, respectively. The rate of HCV genotypes did not differ significantly in relation to demographic characters and risk factors. Sequence analysis of the core region from 16 HCV isolates representative of all genotypes confirmed the RFLP results, except for one sample, which submitted as a new subtype 3.
Conclusions: The predominance of genotypes 1a and 3a in our population is in agreement with available data collected from blood donors and patients in Iran. Considering the even distribution of genotype 1a indicates that it has been presented and circulated in our community for a long time.
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