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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
On-line version ISSN 1678-9849
PERONE, Carlos et al. High prevalence of genotype 1 in individuals with hepatitis C in Belo Horizonte, MG. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.3, pp. 238-242. ISSN 1678-9849. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822008000300003.
The hepatitis C virus is characterized by significant genetic heterogeneity. It is currently classified into six main genotypes and several subtypes. Determining the genotype of the virus is important in clinical practice for guiding the treatment for individuals with chronic hepatitis C. The prevalence of different genotypes and subtypes of the hepatitis C virus has not been fully studied in some regions of Brazil. In this study, 788 samples from patients with chronic hepatitis C who were attended at the Viral Hepatitis Reference Centers in Belo Horizonte were analyzed between 2002 and 2006. The genotyping of the virus was performed by direct sequencing of the 5 UTR region. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis was performed, including all of the genotypic variants obtained. High prevalence of genotype 1 (78.4%; 1b [40.4%], 1a [37.5%] and 1a/b [0.5%]) was observed, followed by genotypes 3a (17.9%) and 2b (3.1%). Three samples were identified as genotype 2a/c (0.4%) and two as genotype 4 (0.2%). The phylogenetic analysis showed the expected segregation of the sequences obtained, with regard to the reference sequences for genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4, except for two samples of genotype 1a. The high prevalence of genotype 1 (78.4%) found in this population from Belo Horizonte was similar to previous reports from other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, but it was higher than what has been described in São Paulo and in the south of the country. The presence of rare atypical sequences from the 5 UTR region suggests that variants in the hepatitis C virus exist in this population.
Keywords : Hepatitis C virus [genetics]; Genotype; Viral genome; Phylogeny.