Objective: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has emerged as a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. The purpose of this study was to describe the distribution pattern of HCV genotypes in chronic hepatitis patients in the Campania region of southern Italy and estimate their association with risk factors and viral load.
Materials and Methods: 404 consecutive HCV ribonucleic acid-positive patients were included in the study. HCV genotyping was carried out by the HCV line probe assay test and viral load estimation by the TaqMan real-time PCR system.
Results: The predominant genotype was 1 (63.6%), followed by genotype 2 (29.4%), 3 (6.2%) and 4 (0.8%). Subtype 1b was more frequent in females than in males. Conversely, genotype 3 was more frequent in males. No significant difference was observed in age distribution of HCV genotypes. Surgery and dental therapy were the most frequent risk factors for genotype 1 and intravenous drug abuse and tattooing for genotype 3. Patients with genotype 1 more frequently showed high HCV viral load when compared to those with genotypes 2 and 3.
Conclusion: The present study revealed that HCV genotypes 1 and 2 accounted for over 95% of all HCV infections in the Campania region, and genotype 1 was more frequently associated with a higher viral load when compared to genotypes 2 and 3.
- Chronic hepatitis
- HCV genotyping
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Infected carriers
- Polymerase chain reaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases