HepatitisC virus genotyping and possible routes of transmission in a Greek population

Abstract number: P1111

Kouniaki D., Tarassi K., Kapsimali V., Athanassiades T., Kitsiou V., Gizori K., Papasteriades C.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is classified into 6 genotypes (1 to 6) and more than 70 subtypes (termed a, b, c, d, ...), according to the International standardization of the Nomenclature. On the other hand, the distribution of HCV genotypes is linked to geographical location and mode of transmission.

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to define the distribution of HCV genotypes/subtypes in a cohort of Greek patients and the possible routes of transmission.

Subjects and Methods: in 258 serum samples (from 154 males and 104 females), HCV viral load was determined by Cobas Amplicor kits and subsequent HCV genotyping was performed using the Versant (Lipa) assay, detecting the 1a, 1b, 1a/1b, 2a/2c, 2b, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3k, 4a/4c/4d, 4c/4d, 4b, 4e, 4f, 4 h, 5a, 6a/6b subtypes.

Results: the frequencies of HCV genotypes/subtypes found in serum samples tested have as follows: genotype 1: 40.7% (males 30.5%, females 56.7%), genotype 2: 8.9% (males 6.5%, females 12.5%), genotype 3: 38.3% (males 48%, females 24%), genotype 4: 12% (males 15.6%, females 6.7%) and particularly subtype 1a: 11.6% (males 9.1%, females 15.4%), subtype 1b: 25.6% (males 17.5%, females 38.5%), subtype 1a/1b: 1.5% (males 1.9%, females 0.9%), subtype 2b: 0.4% (males 0%, females 0.9%), subtype 2a/2c: 8.5% (males 6.5%, females 11.5%), subtype 3a: 38.3% (males 48%, females 24%), subtype 4a/4c/4d: 0.7% (males 0.6%, females 0.9%), subtype 4c/4d: 2.3% (males 2.6%, females 1.9%), subtype 4 h: 4.2% (males 6.5%, females 0.9%).

Conclusions: (1) The two major HCV genotypes among Greek patients are 1 and 3 (particularly subtypes 1b and 3a), like in other populations in Europe and North America. (2) The high frequency of subtype 3a (48%) in males may be attributed to needle-sharing in intravenous drug users, whereas iatrogenic procedures (blood-transfusions, operations etc) may be responsible for the high incidence of subtype 1b (38.5%) among females. (3) It is also pointed-out the relatively high frequency of genotype 4 (12%) in Greek patients, which mainly characterizes patients from Middle East and North Africa.

Besides epidemiological considerations, HCV genotyping in Greek patients has also a clinical impact, as particular HCV genotypes are associated with severity of liver disease and response to antiviral therapy (e.g. subtype 1b is correlated with lower rates of response to interferon-a).

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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