Most common HCV genotypes in patients from north-eastern Croatia

Magdalena Perić, Zinka Bošnjak, Snježana Džijan, Bojan Šarkanj, Jerko Barbić, Ivana Roksandić Križan, Nataša Ružman, Vedran Bertić, Dubravka Vuković


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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