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Genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among positive Lebanese patients: comparison of data with that from other Middle Eastern countries



Recently we identified hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 as the principle genotype among Lebanese thalassaemics. In an attempt to confirm the predominance of genotype 4 in Lebanon and perhaps in the Middle East, genotyping was attempted on 142 HCV-infected Lebanese patients from five different hospitals in the country. These included 38 HCV-positive patients with symptomatic liver disease who were referred to gastroenterologists and 104 HCV-positive patients with no symptoms of liver disease: 27 patients with thalassaemia, 30 patients on haemodialysis, 32 multi-transfused and 15 intravenous drug users. HCV genotyping was performed on PCR HCV RNA-positive samples using a commercial line probe assay (LiPA; Innogenetics, Ghent, Belgium). HCV genotype 4 is found to be the predominant genotype among HCV-infected Lebanese patients (ranging from 34·2% to 53·3%) followed by 1a (ranging from 12·5% to 43·3%) and 1b (ranging from 8·0% to 34·4%). In patients with symptomatic liver disease, however, genotype 4 (34·2%) was preceded by genotype 1a (39·5%). The predominance of HCV genotype 4 in our population (45·7%) confirms the predominance of HCV genotype 4 in Lebanon and most of the Arab countries in the Middle East but contrasts with data reported from non-Arab Middle Eastern Countries as can be seen from the literature review. Implications of genotyping for clinical outcome of HCV infection, response to treatment as well as for vaccine development are discussed

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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