Determination of genotype and viral load of HCV among Iranian thalassemic patients suffering from hepatitis

Vahid Babaei, Hojjat Afradi, Atefeh Amerizadeh, Robabeh Shabani, Abazar Yari, Hamidreza Zeraatgar Gohardani, Sara Nazari, Samira Ghazi, Shahram Teimourian

Abstract


Hepatitis C is one of the most common causes of liver failure and cancer. Recent studies have focused on whether different hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes are associated with different profiles of pathogenicity, infectivity, and response to antiviral therapy. Genotype 1 is difficult to treat, while genotypes 2 and 3 are easy to treat. We used a genotyping system based on nested RT-PCR of the core region with genotype-specific PCR primers for the determination of HCV genotypes followed by sequencing. Serum samples of 350 thalassemic patients (163 female and 187 male) suffering from hepatitis were used to extract the HCV genome. The Amplicon HCV Monitor test version 2.0 was used for viral load determination. The frequencies of different genotypes were: 1a (20.5%), 1b (14.5%), 2a (12.5%), 2b (12.5%), 3a (24%), and 3b (16 %). Genotypes 1a and 3b were associated with a significantly (p<0.001) higher viral load as compared to genotypes 1b and 2b. No statistical significance was observed for viral load among other HCV RNA genotypes.


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