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Indian J Med Res. 2011 Mar;133:326-31.

Distribution pattern of HCV genotypes & its association with viral load.

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Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College & Associated Lok Nayak Hospitals, New Delhi, India.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has emerged as a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Genotyping and assessment of the viral load in HCV patients is important for designing the therapeutic strategies. Thus the present study was designed to determine the distribution pattern of HCV genotypes in chronic hepatitis patients and their association with the viral load and biochemical profiles.


Seventy one HCV RNA positive patients were included in the study. HCV genotyping was carried out by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) followed by the direct sequencing of the core region. Viral load estimation was carried out by Taqman real time PCR system.


Sixty three per cent (45/71) of cases were infected with genotype 3 followed by genotype 1 in 30.98 per cent (22/71) and genotype 2 in 5.63 per cent (4/71) of cases. Genotype 1 was associated with a significantly (P<0.001) higher viral load as compared to genotypes 3 and 2. There was no significant difference seen in the biochemical profile between the three groups of genotypes except in the levels of SGOT. The commonest mode of transmission was parenteral which accounted for 68 per cent of all the infected cases.


The present study revealed that HCV genotype 3 and 1 accounted for approximately 95 per cent of the HCV infection in Delhi and surrounding areas. Also two atypical subtypes like 3i and 3f were identified. Genotype 1 was associated with more severity of liver disease as compared to genotypes 3 and 2 as assessed by viral load.

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