Previous studies in South African patients have shown that hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence is low (2.6%) and genotype 5 is the dominant genotype. This is the first sequence-based genotype study from this country on two different patient groups (haemophiliacs (H) and liver disease (LD) patients) over two time periods (2000–2002 and 2007). Genotype 5 was found to be the dominant genotype in the LD groups, but genotype 1 dominated in the H group. Genotype 2, and a higher prevalence of genotype 3a, was present in the H group when compared to previous South African studies. Genotypes 3 and 4 have been described here in the LD groups for the first time in South Africa, with subtypes 4c and 4g being identified. A separate cluster of genotype 5 sequences were found to have only one adenine at nucleotide position 107 of the 5′UTR, as previously reported. Subtyping in the less conserved NS5B region was used to further characterize the 2000–2002 isolates and validate 5′UTR typing. The study shows that by using reliable methods of genotyping, the prevalence and frequencies of HCV genotypes can be monitored in South Africa for better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2008
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