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J Infect. 2007 Feb;54(2):173-9. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Changes in the distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes over time in Spain according to HIV serostatus: implications for HCV therapy in HCV/HIV-coinfected patients.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Calle Sinesio Delgado 10, 28029 Madrid, Spain.



Changes in the prevalence of distinct hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and subtypes over time have not been explored in detail.


A retrospective analysis was carried out in all specimens from subjects with chronic hepatitis C sent for testing to a reference laboratory in Spain since 1998-2004.


A total of 1226 distinct subjects were analyzed. The most frequent HCV genotype was 1 (64.1%), followed by 3 (20.9%) and 4 (11.7%). The most frequent HCV subtype was 1b (32.4%). A total of 797 patients (65%) were HIV-positive. Although genotype 1 was the most frequent, it represented 74.6% of HIV-negative and 58.5% of HIV-positive patients (p<0.01). While HCV subtype 1a was the most frequent among HIV-positive subjects (32.1%), 1b was the most common in HIV-negative patients (53.8%). There was a significant increase in the prevalence of genotype 4 and conversely a decline in genotype 3 among HIV-positive patients over time.


Genotype 1 is the most frequent HCV variant circulating in Spain. Genotypes 3 and 4 are significantly more prevalent in HIV/HCV-coinfected than in HCV-monoinfected patients. However, HCV-3 has declined and HCV-4 is increasing in the former group. These findings are relevant given their different susceptibility to interferon-based therapies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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