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J Med Virol. 2005 Apr;75(4):538-49.

Hepatitis C virus genotype distribution in China: predominance of closely related subtype 1b isolates and existence of new genotype 6 variants.

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Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, 4035 Delp, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.


To determine hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype distribution in China, a total of 148 HCV RNA positive serum samples were collected from nine geographic areas and subjected to RT-PCR followed by direct DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the core, E1, and NS5B regions. HCV was genotyped in 139 (93.9%) samples. Among them subtype 1b was the most predominant [66% (92/139)] followed by 2a [14% (19/139)]. Of 92 subtype 1b isolates, 35 (38%) and 30 (33%) formed two clusters, designated groups A and B. Group A was prevalent throughout China, while group B was predominant in the central and southern regions. In three cities in the Pearl River Delta, subtype 6a replaced 2a as the second most predominant subtype, and in Kunming (southwest) multiple HCV genotypes/subtypes were present. New variants of HCV genotype 6 were discovered in three samples from Kunming and one in Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta.

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