Hepatitis C serotypes in chronic hepatitis C of children

Flavia Bortolotti, Paloma Jara, Peter Simmonds, Carmen Diaz, Loreto Hierro, Pietro Vajro, Raffaella Giacchino, Angela De La Vega, Carlo Crivellaro, Cristiana Barbera, Carmen Camarena, Gabriella Nebbia, Lucia Zancan, Esteban Frauca, Emanuele Barbierato, Alfredo Alberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay has been recently developed which detects and distinguishes between infections with the three major hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes prevalent in Europe. Using this assay we have investigated the sera of 30 Italian and 37 Spanish children with chronic hepatitis C. Infection with HCV type 1 was found in 43% of Italian and 46% of Spanish children. Of the Italian children 7% were infected with HCV of type 2 and 7% had a mixed type 1/type 2 serotype. Infection with HCV type 3 was found in 7% of Italian and 8% of Spanish children while 36% of Italian and 46% of Spanish children had non-reactive sera. Serotype 3 was significantly more frequent in children with anti-HCV positive mothers (often drug abusers) than in those with percutaneous exposure (25% vs. 2%, p <0.05). Mean alanine aminotransferase values were significantly higher in children with HCV type 1 than in those with non-reactive sera (P <0.05). These results indicate a similar distribution of HCV serotypes in Italian and Spanish children. Serotype 1 is prevalent and associated with a more severe liver damage. The relevant proportion of non-reactive sera could be related to the existence of genetic variants different from those explored by the test and with low pathogenicity, or to a poor antibody response to viral antigens of the NS4 region in a consistent subgroup of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Hepatology Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatitis C virus genotypes
  • Hepatitis C virus infection in children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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