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Phylogenetic Analysis Of Hepatitis C Virus Strains And Risk Factors Associated With Infection And Viral Subtypes Among Iranian Patients

Faraz Salehi Moghadam, Seyed Reza Mohebbi, Seyed Masoud Hosseini, S. Romani, H. Mirtalebi, P. Azimzadeh, B. Damavand, Hamed Naghoosi, Mahsa Khanyaghma, Azar Sanati, Mohammad Reza zali
Published 2014 · Medicine

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has infected approximately 170 million people worldwide. While the seroprevalence of anti‐HCV antibody among Iranian blood donors is 0.13%, HCV infection is prevalent in 59–80% of Iranian injecting drug users. One hundred seventy‐eight anti‐HCV positive patients were referred to the Gastroenterology Department at the Taleghani Hospital (Tehran, Iran) between June 2007 and June 2012. Out of 178 samples, 142 were positive for HCV‐RNA. HCV subtypes were determined using phylogenetic analysis of the NS5B or 5′UTR/core regions. Of 142 viremic patients, 71 (50%) were infected with HCV subtype 1a, 43 (30.3%) with subtype 3a, 20 (14.1%) with subtype 1b, 3 (2.1%) with subtype 4d, 2 (1.4%) with subtype 4a, 1 (0.7%) with subtype 2b, and 1 (0.7%) with subtype 6a. Interestingly, genetic analysis of a sub‐genomic fragment from one patient identified a non‐subtypeable HCV genotype‐3 strain. There was a significant association between HCV subtype and a history of injecting drug use (P = 0.003). Subtype 3a was predominant among patients with such a history. Injecting drug use was associated with younger age (P < 0.001). HCV subtype was also significantly associated with a history of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (P = 0.02). Subtype 1a was more frequent among patients with such a history. In addition, history of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was significantly associated with older age (P = 0.002). In conclusion, while HCV subtype 1a is predominant among infected Iranian individuals, subtype 3a is predominant among Iranian injecting drug users. J. Med. Virol. 86:1342–1349, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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