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Yi Chuan. 2012 Jun;34(6):666-72.

[The different epidemic and evolution of HCV genotypes].

[Article in Chinese]

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Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, China.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a prevalent and globally distributed human pathogen that currently infects an estimated 170 million people. Chronic HCV infection significantly increases the risk of chronic hepatitis. The virus exhibits a very high degree of genetic diversity that is classified six genotypes and sub-classified more than 80 subtypes by phylogenetic analysis. The various genotypes and subtypes of HCV have been associated with different epidemiological and geographical spread patterns. Genotypes 1 and 2 are globally distributed; genotype 3 is predominant in Asia, North America and parts of Europe; similar regional patterns of endemic diversity have been found for genotype 4 in Europe, Middle East and Central Africa, for genotype 5 in parts of Africa and Europe, and for genotype 6 in Southeast Asia and North America. Up to date, four HCV genotypes, including genotype 1, 2, 3 and 6, were identified in China. Genotypes 1b and 2a were mainly found in Northern China. The fast spreading of genotypes 3 and 6 in Southern and South-Western China was reported by recent studies. It's deduced that Yunnan may become an important source of HCV epidemic and spread, which will cause great changes in the distribution of HCV genotypes and subtypes, and a variety of transmission. With the development of evolution theory and related analysis methods, such as coalescent theory and evolutionary molecular, it is possible to understand the characters of virus evolution and migration. For HCV, the further understanding on the prevalence and evolution characters of various genotypes is very important for the deep investigation of HCV epidemic and the development of prevention strategy.

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