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Antivir Ther. 2005;10(1):1-11.

Chronic hepatitis C and genotyping: the clinical significance of determining HCV genotypes.

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Bayer Institute for Clinical Investigation (BICI), Bayer HealthCare - Diagnostics Division, Berkeley, CA, USA.


Chronic hepatitis C, attributed to infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV), is a global health problem. The overall prevalence of viral hepatitis worldwide is estimated to be 3-5% with over 175 million people infected with HCV. Clinically, HCV can establish a persistent, chronic infection contributing to progressive liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), requiring intensive treatment regimens, possible liver transplantation and long-term care. Due to the chronic nature of HCV infection and the tremendous burden on healthcare resources, clinicians and laboratorians have looked for key epidemiological, pathological and viral characteristics that may provide insight into disease progression, severity and response to therapy to permit the administration of effective therapeutic regimens as well as long-term management of infected individuals. Determination of viral genotype has been identified as one parameter that could provide direction in the clinical management of patients with chronic HCV infections. The following review provides background on determination of HCV genotypes and the relevance of viral genome characterization in the current clinical setting.

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