We used a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to obtain the genotypes of circulating hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients from a Gastro-Hepatology Unit in the city of Salvador (Bahia State) in northeastern Brazil. Viral RNA was detected in 83 (65.4%) of 127 anti-HCV seropositive serum samples. Positivity was significantly associated with alterations in levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase (P < 0.05). Genotyping of HCV was performed by RT-PCR using genotype-specific primers from the core region: 24.1% were infected with subtype 1a, 38.6% with 1b, 3.6% with 2, 21.7% with 3a, and 12.0% with a mixed genotype. There was no difference in genotype distribution when compared with results from other Brazilian locations. Surprisingly, the high frequency of genotype 3 in Brazilian samples continues to be different from that reported around the world and warrants further investigatio
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