Clinical significance of hepatitis C virus genotypes


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The advent of genotyping assays has stimulated investigators around the world to study the molecular epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in specific patient categories, as well as possible correlations with the clinical and histological features of chronic liver disease and response to antiviral treatment. While a general consensus has been reached on the worldwide epidemiology and distribution of HCV types in certain risk categories (i.e. intravenous drug users), the association between genotype 1b and severe liver disease is still controversial. Although generalized use of genotyping is not presently recommended for clinical or epidemiological monitoring, several studies emphasize to the importance of HCV genotyping as part of a therapeutic algorithm. This recommendation is based on overwhelming evidence in support of a correlation between genotype 1 and a poor response to interferon-a alone or in combination with ribavirin.

AUTHOR: Mondelli MU, Silini E, Laboratori di Ricerca-Area Infettivologica, Istituto di Clinica delle Malattie Infettive, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.
SOURCE: J Hepatol 1999;31 Suppl 1:65-70

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