Most common HCV genotypes in patients from north-eastern Croatia
Objective. The aims of this study were to determine the HCV-RNA viral load, genotype distribution, risk factors and symptoms of HCVRNA positive viral load in HCV antibody-positive patients from north-eastern Croatia. Materials and methods. From January 2009 to December 2011, 203 HCV antibody- positive patients (130 men and 73 women; median age 44.5 years) were analyzed for HCV-RNA by the COBAS TaqMan HCV test and genotyped by the Linear Array HCV Genotyping test (both from Roche). All patients completed a structured questionnaire about risk factors and symptoms. Results. The HCV-RNA percentage was 61.1% and was similar for men and women. The HCV-RNA viral load increased with age: while 55% of 20-50 year old patients were HCV-RNA positive, 73% of patients >50 years were positive (p=0.021). Genotype 1 was the most prevalent genotype (79.8%), followed by 3 (12.9%), 4 (6.5%), and 2 (0.8%); genotypes 5 and 6 were not determined. Patients with genotype 1 (median, 50 years) were older than patients with 3 (median, 33.5 years) or 4 (median, 38 years). The blood transfusions performed in Croatian hospitals before 1993 was significantly associated with HCV-RNA positive viral load (p<0.05). Conclusion. These data indicated an elevated prevalence of genotype 1 in elderly HCV-RNA positive patients and it may continue to rise. Using RNA-based detection in HCV positive-antibody patients would allow early detection of HCV in the acute stage of HCV disease and the increased risk of HCV genotyperelated treatment failure.
HCV-RNA; HCV genotypes; HCV antibody-positive; Risk factors
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