Beatriz María García-Montalvo, Pedro Luis Galguera-Colorado
Aim: To make a preliminary determination of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype prevalence and possible genotype associations with risk factors and severity of associated liver disease in patients from Yucatan, Mexico. Methods: Sera from 54 patients with positive anti- HCV and HCV RNA were genotyped using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Risk factors were evaluated using a questionnaire. The evaluations also included serum ALT levels and liver biopsies in some participants. Results: HCV genotype 1 was detected in 37%, genotype 2 in 33.3%, genotype 3 in 16.7% and mixed genotypes in 7.4%. Subtype 2b was the most frequent (33.3%), followed by 1b (18.5%), 3a (16.7%) and 1a (14.8%). Surgeries (53.7%) and transfusion (38.9%) were the main risk factors. Liver biopsies were available in 24 (44.4%) patients. Severe liver disease was present in 6 (54.5%) of the patients with genotype 1 and in none of those with genotype 2. A statistically significant association was observed between patients with a family history of liver disease and genotype 2 (P = 0.021). Liver damage severity increased with longer duration of infection (P = 0.007). No statistically significant association was observed between severe liver damage and the different genotypes. Conclusion: Subtype 2b was the most prevalent. This contrasts with the studies done in different states of Mexico in that this subtype was not identified or had prevalence approximately 2 times less than reported here.
Key words. Genotype, hepatitis C, epidemiology, Mexico, risk factors