New findings in HCV genotype distribution in selected West European, Russian and Israeli regions

J Clin Virol. 2016 Aug;81:82-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 May 24.


Background: HCV affects 185 million people worldwide and leads to death and morbidities. HCV has a high genetic diversity and is classified into seven genotypes and 67 subtypes. Novel anti-HCV drugs (Direct-Acting-Antivirals) eligibility, resistance and cure rates depend on HCV geno/subtype (GT).

Objectives: Analysis of epidemiological information and viral GT from patients undergoing viral genotyping in 2011-2015.

Study design: Anonymized information from 52 centers was analyzed retrospectively.

Results: 37,839 samples were included in the study. We show that the GT distribution is similar throughout Western European countries, with some local differences. Here GTs 1 and 2 prevalences are lower and of GT4 higher than in all previous reports. Israel has a unique GT pattern and in South Russia the GT proportions are more similar to Asia. GTs 5 and 6 were detected in very low proportions. Three cases of the recombinant genotype P were reported in Munich (Germany). In addition, we observed that GT proportion was dependant on patientś gender, age and transmission route: GTs 1b and 2 were significantly more common in female, older, nosocomially-infected patients, while GTs 1a, 3 and 4 were more frequent in male, younger patients infected by tattooing, drug consume, and/or sexual practices. In infections acquired by drug consume, GTs 1a (35.0%) and 3 (28.1%) prevailed. In infections related to sexual practices lower proportion of GT3 (14.0%) and higher of GT4 (20.2%) were detected. GT4 was mostly abundant in MSM (29.6%). HIV coinfection was significantly associated with higher proportions GTs 1a and 4 (42.5% and 19.3%, respectively).

Conclusion: Genotype prevalence evolves and correlates to epidemiological factors. Continuous surveillance is necessary to better assess hepatitis C infection in Europe and to take appropriate actions.

Keywords: Genotype; HCV; Hepatitis C virus; Molecular epidemiology; Transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / transmission
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Russia / epidemiology
  • Young Adult