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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2013 Oct-Dec;31(4):349-53. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.118875.

Genotypes of hepatitis C virus in the Indian sub-continent: a decade-long experience from a tertiary care hospital in South India.

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Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease (CLD) that can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Genotypes of HCV can vary in pathogenicity and can impact on treatment outcome.


To study the different genotypes among patients with HCV related CLD attending a tertiary care hospital in south India during 2002-2012.


Study subjects were those referred to clinical virology from the liver clinic. Genotyping was performed using the genotype specific core primers in nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 5' non-coding regions based PCR- restriction fragment length polymorphism and NS5B sequencing methods. With the latter method, obtained sequences were compared with published GenBank sequences to determine the genotype.


Of the 451 samples tested, HCV genotype 3 was found to be the most predominant (63.85%). Other genotypes detected were genotype 1 (25.72%), genotype 2 (0.002%), genotype 4 (7.5%) and genotype 6 (2.7%). Genotype 3 was the common genotype in patients from Eastern India while genotype 1 and 4 were mainly seen in South Indian patients. Genotype 6 was seen exclusively in patients from North-Eastern India. Two other patients were infected with recombinants of genotype 1 and 2.


In this study spanning a decade, HCV genotype 3 and genotype 1 were found to be the predominant genotypes in the Indian sub-continent. Genotype 4 and genotype 6 appeared to show some geographic restriction. A continued monitoring of HCV genotypes is essential for the optimum management of these chronically infected patients. In addition, knowledge of circulating genotypes could impact on future vaccine formulations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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