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Acta Clin Belg. 2001 Jul-Aug;56(4):220-4.

Age trend in hepatitis C virus genotype distribution as seen in a Brussels teaching hospital.

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Université Catholique de Louvain, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Bruxelles, Belgium.


The hepatitis C virus genotype distribution was studied among age groups in 501 referred patients with chronic hepatitis C by INNO-LiPA HCV II (Innogenetics, Belgium). Ten patients had coinfection with several genotypes. Two hundred seventy of 491 singly infected individuals (57%) had 1b, 66 (13.4%) 3a, 57 (11.6%) 1a. HCV subtype 1b was predominant but its prevalence increased with age (76.5% of patients born in the '20s, 39.3% in the '70s) (P < 0.0001). Three possibilities could explain the shift towards a wider variety of genotypes in younger age. (1) 1b could be the original subtypes in this population, (2) the non-1b subtypes could give less chronic carriers, (3) the non-1b subtypes could have a higher mortality, which seems improbable. The 1b genotype seems the oldest subtype in our country while others were imported later through increased population movements and changing habits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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