Background/aim: The most common hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype in Turkey is genotype 1. However, there has not been a study about the distribution of HCV genotypes among intravenous drug users (IVDUs) in the Çukurova region of Turkey. This study was planned to understand if there is a difference between IVDUs and the normal population.
Materials and methods: Between May 2010 and May 2014, anti-HCV positive IVDUs who applied to the 6 hospitals in the Çukurova region of Turkey were included in this study. Their HCV genotypes were studied.
Results: Ninety-seven anti-HCV positive IVDUs were screened in terms of HCV RNA and genotype. Ten were excluded from the study because their HCV RNA results were negative. Fifty-one of the 87 patients (58.6%) had genotype 3. Genotype 2 was detected in 26 (29.9%) and genotype 1 was detected in 10 (11.5%) patients.
Conclusion: HCV genotypes seem to be different between the normal population and IVDUs according to studies worldwide. Among IVDUs, we detected a dominance of genotype 3 and genotype 2, which is apparently different from the normal population. The reason for this difference can be simply explained by infection through shared needles. However, there may still be a different immunological response in IVDUs, the investigation of which may lead to further studies.
Keywords: HCV genotypes; Hepatitis C; intravenous drug users.