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. 2019 Jun;33(5):e22876.
doi: 10.1002/jcla.22876. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes in Nine Selected European Countries: A Systematic Review

Free PMC article

Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes in Nine Selected European Countries: A Systematic Review

Arnolfo Petruzziello et al. J Clin Lab Anal. .
Free PMC article


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global health problem especially for its increasing level of mortality. Detailed knowledge of HCV genotypes prevalence has clinical relevance since the efficacy of therapies is impacted by genotypes and subtypes distribution. Moreover, HCV exhibits a great genetic variability regionally. To date, there are no published studies assessing HCV genotypes distribution in specific countries of the Mediterranean basin. The aim of this study was to review data published from 2000 to 2017 with the purpose to estimate genotypes distribution of HCV infection in nine European countries all located in the Mediterranean basin.

Methods: A systematic research of peer-reviewed journals indexed in PubMed, Scopus, and EMBASE databases selected if containing data regarding distribution of HCV genotypes in nine selected European countries (Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Spain) was performed.

Results: Genotype 1 is the most common (61.0%), ranging from 80.0% in Croatia to 46.0% in Greece, followed by genotype 3 (20.0%), varying from 38.0% in Slovenia to 7.0% and 8.0%, respectively, in Italy and in Albania and by genotype 4 (10.0%) that shows an increase of 1.1% with respect to data obtained till 2014 probably due to the increasing migrants arrivals to Southern Europe. G2, the fourth most frequent genotype (8.5%), particularly common in Italy (27.0%) and Albania (18.0%) might be probably introduced in Southern Italy as a result of Albanian campaign during Second World War and more and more increased by the migration flows from Albania to Italy in the 90s.

Conclusion: Epidemiology of HCV infection shows a high variability across the European countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. HCV genotyping is a relevant tool to monitor the dynamic process influenced by both evolving transmission trends and new migration flows on HCV scenario.

Keywords: HCV genotype; HCV infection; HCV prevalence; Hepatitis C virus; epidemiology.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Flowchart of systematic literature search and article selection (PRISMA guideline 2009)
Figure 2
Figure 2
Distribution of hepatitis C virus genotypes in nine European Mediterranean countries

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