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J Clin Microbiol. 1997 Jan;35(1):201-7.

New hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotyping system that allows for identification of HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5a, and 6a.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan.


Recent studies have focused on whether different hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes are associated with different profiles of pathogenicity, infectivity, and response to antiviral therapy. The establishment of a simple and precise genotyping system for HCV is essential to address these issues. A new genotyping system based on PCR of the core region with genotype-specific PCR primers for the determination of HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5a, and 6a was developed. A total of 607 samples (379 from Japan, 63 from the United States, 53 from Korea, 35 from Taiwan, 32 from China, 20 from Hong Kong, 15 from Australia, 6 from Egypt, 3 from Bangladesh, and 1 from South Africa) were tested by both the assay of Okamoto et al. (H. Okamoto, Y. Sugiyama, S. Okada, K. Kurai, Y. Akahane, Y. Sugai, T. Tanaka, K. Sato, F. Tsuda, Y. Miyamura, and M. Mayumi, J. Gen. Virol. 73:673-679, 1992) and this new genotyping system. Comparison of the results showed concordant results for 539 samples (88.8%). Of the 68 samples with discordant results, the nucleotide sequences of the HCV isolates were determined in 23, and their genotypes were determined by molecular evolutionary analysis. In all 23 samples, the assignment of genotype by our new genotyping system was correct. This genotyping system may be useful for large-scale determination of HCV genotypes in clinical studies.

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