Brief Article
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World J Hepatol. Jul 27, 2013; 5(7): 393-397
Published online Jul 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i7.393
Hepatitis C virus genotypes in north eastern Algeria: A retrospective study
Samir Rouabhia, Mourad Sadelaoud, Karima Chaabna-Mokrane, Wided Toumi, Ludovico Abenavoli
Samir Rouabhia, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Touhami Benfis, Batna 05000, Algeria
Mourad Sadelaoud, Wided Toumi, Sadelaoud Laboratory of Medical Biology, La verdure, Batna 05000, Algeria
Karima Chaabna-Mokrane, Section of Cancer Information, International Agency for Research on Cancer, F-69372 Lyon, France
Ludovico Abenavoli, Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Græcia”, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
Author contributions: Rouabhia S devised the study, participated in its design and coordination, drafted the article and gave the critical view of the manuscript; Sadelaoud M and Toumi W carried out the molecular genotyping assays and collected the epidemiological data; Chaabna-Mokrane K analyzed the data statistically; and Abenavoli L critically studied the manuscript and supervised the project; all the authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Correspondence to: Samir Rouabhia, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Touhami Benfis, Batna 05000, Algeria.
Telephone: +213-7-71398290 Fax: +213-33926066
Received: February 20, 2013
Revised: April 30, 2013
Accepted: June 1, 2013
Published online: July 27, 2013

AIM: To determine the frequency of various hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes present in patients from north eastern Algeria.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of 435 HCV infected patients from northeast Algeria, detected in the Sadelaoud laboratory and diagnosed between January 2010 and December 2012. The patients were diagnosed with HCV infection in their local hospitals and referred to be assessed for HCV genotype before the antiviral treatment. Demographic information (sex, age and address), genotype, subtype and viral load were retrieved from the patient medical records. The serum samples were tested by the type-specific genotyping assay.

RESULTS: The majority of the patients (82.5%) were from the central part of the examined region (P = 0.002). The mean age of the patients studied was 53.6 ± 11.5 years. HCV genotype 1 was the most frequent (88.7%), followed by genotypes 2 (8.5%), 4 (1.1%), 3 (0.9%) and 5 (0.2%). Genotype 6 was not detected in these patients. Mixed infection across the HCV subtypes was detected in twenty patients (4.6%). The genotype distribution was related to age and region. Genotype 1 was significantly less frequent in the ≥ 60 age group than in the younger age group (OR = 0.2; 95%CI: 0.1-0.5, P < 0.001). Furthermore, genotype 1 was more frequent in the central part of the examined region than elsewhere (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: The HCV genotype (type 1b was dominant) distribution in Algeria is different from those in other northern countries of Africa.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Prevalence, Genotype 1b, Viral load, Algeria

Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a common worldwide health problem; it is one of the major causes of chronic liver disease. HCV has at least six genotypes. The distribution of HCV genotypes varies greatly over the world. Genotype identification is clinically important to tailor the dosage and duration of treatment. The prevalence and HCV genotypes in Algeria are not known. In this study, we found that HCV genotype distribution in Algeria is different from the distribution detected in other northern countries of Africa.