Hepatitis C virus genotype and its correlation with viral load in patients from Kathmandu, Nepal
Keywords:genotype, Hepatitis C virus, Infection, Viral load
Introduction: Knowledge about the distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype and its correlation with viral load are important for the decision of treatment and the prediction of disease progression, however such information is very limited in Nepal. Here, we investigated the distribution of HCV genotypes and viral load for HCV-infected patients from Kathmandu, Nepal.
Methodology: Ninety-six patients with HCV infection and not on antiviral therapy were enrolled from three different medical centers in Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Demographics were recorded and blood samples were collected. Plasma was separated and HCV RNA was extracted. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) was performed to measure the viral load, and virus genotype was determined.
Results: Genotype 3a (n = 53, 55.2%) was the most prevalent, followed by 1b (n = 19, 19.8%), 1a (n = 18, 18.8%), 5a (n = 3, 3.1%), and mix types (n = 3, 3.1%). The median viral load for HCV genotype 1a was 770,942 IU/mL (IQR, 215,268-3,720,075), 1b was 700,000 IU/mL (IQR, 431,560-919,000), 3a was 1,060,000 IU/mL (IQR, 641,050-6,063,500), 5a was 673,400 IU/mL, and mixed was 6,428,000 IU/mL. A correlation between genotype and viral load was observed (p = 0.02), of which genotype 3a showed a high viral load.
Conclusions: HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 3a, and 5a were identified in Kathmandu, Nepal, and mixed genotype patients were observed in the patients studied. HCV genotype showed a correlation with viral load in patient plasma. This finding may contribute to the treatment and prevention of hepatitis C in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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