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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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