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Title

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL FEATURES OF PATIENTS INFECTED WITH HCV GENOTYPE 4 IN POLAND

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 Start Page 191 | End Page 194

Abstract

 Background: HEPATITIS C genotype 4 (HCV-4) is considered to be rare outside northern Africa and southern Europe. Objectives: To describe the epidemiological characteristics of patients infected with HCV-4 in Poland. Patients and Methods: The study group included 290 patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease and intravenous DRUG USERS with HCV infection recruited in years 2002-2006 in Pod­laskie region, north-eastern Poland. In all cases, HCV infection was confirmed by HCV-RNA detection by qualitative nested RT-PCR. HCV genotype was determined by 5'UTR sequencing and comparison with known genotype-specific sequences.  Results: HCV 4 was found in 45 (15.5%) of 290 HCV-infected and HCV RNA-positive individuals. 60% of HCV 4 infections occurred in intravenous DRUG USERS; 51% of HCV 4-infected patients were also HIV-positive. Among 119 patients whose source of infection was other than drug use, there were 16 (10.5%) HCV 4 cases. Seven (46%) of 13 HCV 4-positive and HIV-negative pa­tients who received combined antiviral treatment had sustained viral response. Conclusions: HCV 4 exists in eastern Poland, and the infection is frequently related to intra­venous drug use and accompanied by HIV infection. HCV 4 also causes a proportion of non-drug-related HCV infections.

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