Epidemiological features of patients infected with HCV genotype 4 in Poland


Slawomir Chlabicz 1 , * , Robert Flisiak 2 , Tadeusz W Lapinski 2 , Oksana Kowalczuk 2 , Alicja Wiercinska-Drapalo 2 , Barbara Pytel-Krolczuk 2 , Anna Grzeszczuk 2 , Lech Chyczewski 2 , Joanna Pancewicz 2

1 Department of Family Medicine and Community Nursing, Medical University of Bialystok, [email protected], Poland

2 Department of Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland

How to Cite: Chlabicz S, Flisiak R, Lapinski T, Kowalczuk O, Wiercinska-Drapalo A, et al. Epidemiological features of patients infected with HCV genotype 4 in Poland, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 11(3):191-194.


Hepatitis Monthly: 11 (3); 191-194
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 3, 2010
Accepted: September 5, 2010


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.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Understanding the geographical distribution of different HCV genotypes all over the world can guide virologists, geneticians and infectious specialists to better analyze the epidemiology of HCV in patients.


Please cite this paper as:
Chlabicz S, Flisiak R, Lapinski TW, Kowalczuk O, Wiercinska-Drapalo A, Pytel-Krolczuk B, et al. Epidemiological features of patients infected with HCV genotype 4 in Poland. Hepat Mon. 2011;11(3):191-194.

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