Author(s): Narahari S, Juwle A, Basak S, Saranath D
Viral hepatitis represents a major global health problem with 170 million Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) carriers worldwide, and 12-13 million HCV carriers in India. HCV genotypes are of clinical significance in indicating drug responsiveness and prognosis of the patient. The HCV genotypes are of epidemiologic significance as well, as they are indicative of transmission route of infection and have not been extensively studied in the Indian context. In the current study, HCV genotyping was examined in 2118 patients from different geographic regions of India. HCV was detected by PCR amplification of 5' UTR and core-envelope1 regions, followed by genotyping using nucleotide sequencing and analysis with NCBI tool (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/genotyping/formpage.cgi). HCV genotype distribution in the 2118 Indian patients demonstrated prevalence of HCV3 (3a/3b primarily) in 62% and HCV1 (1a/1b primarily) in 31% patients. The predominance of HCV3 was significant in northern (p=0.01) and eastern (p=0.008) regions of India. HCV types 2, 4, 5, and 6 were detected in 0.05-4.5% of the patient group. Thus, our studies demonstrate HCV genotype prevalence in the cohort group in different regions of India.