Heterogeneity of hepatitis C virus genotypes in hemophilia: relationship with chronic liver disease.
Preston FE., Jarvis LM., Makris M., Philp L., Underwood JC., Ludlam CA., Simmonds P.
In this study we have determined the hepatitis C virus (HCV) serotype and genotype in a cohort of 96 HCV-infected hemophiliacs and have examined the relationship between HCV genotype and severity of chronic liver disease as determined by liver biopsy. HCV serotype was determined by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and genotype by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and HCV viral sequencing. The pattern of genotype distribution was quite unlike that of HCV-infected United Kingdom (UK) blood donors in that five of the six known HCV genotypes were represented, 50% were type 1, 13% type 2, and 18% type 3. An unexpected observation was the presence of HCV genotype 4 in four patients and type 5 in two patients. An additional feature was the presence of mixed infection, detected in 14% and 7% by serotype and genotype analysis, respectively. Liver biopsies were available from 51 patients. Cirrhosis was present in five of 27 (19%) of individuals with type 1, in 2 of 9 (22%) with type 2, and 5 of 8 (63%) of those with type 3. The heterogeneous pattern of HCV genotype distribution in this cohort of patients and the observed relationship between the severity of the related liver disease and specific HCV genotype may have important implications with respect to the natural history and treatment of HCV-related chronic liver disease in infected hemophiliacs worldwide.