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Arch Virol. 1996;141(9):1613-22.

Prevalence of hepatitis C virus and distribution of its genotypes in Northern Eurasia.

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Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


We tested hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody in 4216 sera collected from healthy people living in European part of Russia (including Northern, North-Western, Central, Central-Blacksoil, Volga-Vyatka, Volga, and North-Caucasian regions), non-European part of Russia (the Urals, East-Siberia, and the Far-East regions) and Mongolia. Prevalence of HCV antibody varied significantly by regions, ranging from 0.7% in Central region of European part of Russia to 10.7% in Mongolia. Genotyping of HCV (into 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 3a) was performed on 469 sera from blood donors and patients (in Russia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, and Mongolia) who were positive for both HCV antibody and RNA. Genotype 1b was the most dominant genotype irrespective of regions (68.9%), with the highest rate in Moldova (96%). HCV unclassifiable into genotypes 1a-to-3a was found in 28 (6.0%) samples: particularly 4 of 10 samples from Lipetzk were untypable. Overall, HCV genotypes in European part of Russia were more similar to those in European countries, while those in Eastern part of Russia more similar to China or Japan. Genotype distribution was not associated with the clinical expression of HCV disease: acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis.

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