Typing hepatitis C virus by polymerase chain reaction with type-specific primers: application to clinical surveys and tracing infectious sources

J Gen Virol. 1992 Mar;73 ( Pt 3):673-9. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-73-3-673.


Based on variation in nucleotide sequence within restricted regions in the putative C (core) gene of hepatitis C virus (HCV), four groups of HCV have been postulated in a panel of 44 HCV isolates. They were provisionally designated types I, II, III and IV. A method for typing HCV was developed, depending on the amplification of a C gene sequence by polymerase chain reaction using a universal primer (sense) and a mixture of four type-specific primers (antisense). HCV types were determined by the size of the products specific to each of them. Type II was found in HCV samples from 131 (82%) of 159 blood donors, more often than in those from 48 (60%) of 80 patients with non-A, non-B (NANB) liver disease in Japan (P less than 0.01). In 11 haemophiliacs who had received imported coagulation factor concentrates, type I was found in five, as against type II in four. Double infection with two different HCV types was found in two patients with chronic NANB liver disease (types I and II; II and III) and two haemophiliacs (types I and II; I and III). HCV types were identical in mother and baby in each of two examples of perinatal transmission, and were also identical in donor and recipient in a case of accidental needle exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blood Donors*
  • DNA, Antisense
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hemophilia A
  • Hepacivirus / classification*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C / transmission
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Viral Core Proteins / genetics*


  • DNA, Antisense
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Viral Core Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D00830