Background and Aims: Approximately 2-3% of the world population are infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), which is the single most common indication for liver transplantation. This study aimed to determine the hepatitis C viral genotypes in HCV and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/HCV positive patients in southern Iran.
Methods: During 2004-2005, 273 patients who were infected with HCV were enrolled. Out of them, 250 subjects accepted blood sampling, and RNA extraction was undertaken for 238 subjects. Specific and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were performed to determine viral infection and genotype analysis. Liver enzymes including ALT and AST and the correlated risk factors were also determined.
Results: HCV-RNA was detected in 238 subjects. 50 had HIV/HCV co-infection, among whom 88%, 92% and 56% had positive a history of intravenous drug use, being in prison, and tattooing, respectively. 188 subjects showed HCV mono-infection, among whom 14.36% had major thalassemia and 37.76%, 16.48%, 3.72%, 2.65% and 29.25% had a history of being in prison, dental visits, hemophilia, hemodialysis and tattooing, respectively. Of 50 subjects with HIV/HCV co-infection, 40% were genotype la, 34% genotype 3a, and 26% genotype 1b, and one of the patients had mixed infection with 1b/3a. Among 188 subjects with HCV mono-infection, 44.1% were genotype la, 42.0% genotype 3a, and 13.8% genotype 1b. ALT and AST levels in all genotypes were compared.
Conclusions: This study showed that Genotype 1a, followed by 3a and 1b, were the most prevalent types in both groups. No other genotypes were detected, but mixed infection with 3a/1b was observed in one of the HIV/HCV co-infected patients. HCV genotype had no correlation with mode of transmission or liver enzyme abnormalities.
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