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Detection of multiple hepatitis C virus genotypes in a cohort of injecting drug users.

Bowden S, McCaw R, White PA, Crofts N, Aitken CK

  • Journal Journal of viral hepatitis

  • Published 28 Jun 2005

  • Volume 12

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 322-4

  • DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2005.00592.x


Multiple genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were detected in five of 138 HCV RNA positive injecting drug users (IDUs) recruited in Melbourne, Australia. Two were detected by combined LiPA and core and NS5a region sequencing, and three more (selected for testing due to their high-risk behaviour) by heteroduplex mobility analysis. We conclude that the true prevalence of mixed infection in IDUs is undoubtedly higher than the 3.6% (five of 138) we observed, and is underestimated by LiPA, the most common method of genotyping. As responsiveness to HCV treatment varies significantly with genotype, a high prevalence of mixed HCV infections in IDUs must diminish overall treatment efficacy and lessen our ability to reduce the burden of HCV-related disease.