We determined the frequency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in anti-HCV seropositive patients in the state of Alagoas, Brazil, by means of nested-reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested-PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of amplified fragments of the 5´NCR. The nested-PCR with genotype-specific primers from the core region was carried out when detection was not possible by the first approach. Detectable HCV-RNA was present in 115 (74.7%) of 154 serum samples. Genotype 1 was the most frequent (77.4%), against 20.9% of genotype 3 and 0.8% of genotype 2. Subtype 1b was predominant (65.2%), followed by subtypes 1a (8.7%), and 3a (6.1%). Coinfection (1a/3a) was detected in 0.8% of the samples. Indeed, there was no significant differences in the prevalence of genotype 1 compared to what has been obtained from anti-HCV seropositive patients from other locations in Brazil. Here we report for the first time the genotype 2 in the state of Alagoas.
Hepatitis C virus; 5'NCR; core region; RT-nested-PCR; genotypes