Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes have became important epidemiological markers in the management of HCV-infected subjects and infection treatment. The dynamics of HCV genotypes are changing in Europe. During a five-year (2009-2013) hospital-based surveillance in the area of Parma, Northern Italy, serum/plasma samples from 1,265 HCV RNA-positive subjects were genotyped. Subtypes 1b, 3a, and 1a were predominant (32.6 %, 19.1 %, and 17.8 %, respectively), with a correlation between viral load and gender. Subtypes 1a and 3a were more frequent in adults and males with a significant difference with the over-50 age group and females (P > 0.0001). Subtype 1b, as well as 2a/2c and G2 not-subtypeable (15.7 % and 7.2 %, respectively), were more common in females and in the over-50 age group compared to males (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001, and P < 0.05, respectively) and the under-50 age group (P < 0.0001). While subtype 1b showed a nearly constant trend, subtype 1a peaked in 2012, when a consistent decrease in G2 was observed. The increasing detection of G4, mainly in adults, and subtypes 1a and 3a suggests their epidemiological relevance in the population. The detection of more than one HCV genotype in the same sample (0.2 %) and different genotypes in distant samples (5.1 %) from the same subject reinforces the opinion that re-infection and super-infection with different genotypes are not negligible events, especially in HIV-infected subjects. The dynamics of HCV genotypes could have significant implications for infection control.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 15, 2016
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