Determination of Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes in Pruritus Patients in Saudi Arabia

Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine and King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University , Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers (Impact Factor: 1.46). 10/2011; 16(1):46-9. DOI: 10.1089/gtmb.2011.0064
Source: PubMed


The main objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in 56 pruritus patients and 50 healthy blood donors on the basis of clinical and laboratory investigations. Both demographic and clinical data were collected from each subject after obtaining informed consent and approval from an ethics committee. Ten milliliters of venous blood was collected from fasting patients (8-10 h) and serum was used for aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase tests, anti-HCV antibody testing, HCV-RNA polymerase chain reaction screening, and genotyping analysis. HCV was found to be significantly predominant over HBV infection among the pruritus patients (p<0.001). Twelve pruritus patients (21.42%) were positive for anti-HCV antibodies and nine of them were confirmed positive for HCV RNA presence. Of the two major genotypes revealed, genotype 4 was found to be significantly predominant over the mixed genotype, that is, 4a/c+3a (p<0.001). Subtyping results showed that a significant majority of the type 4 were of the HCV subtype 4a (five patients), followed by 4c (two patients) and 4b genotypes (one patient) and mixed genotype 4a/c+3a (one patient). Results of this prospective study indicated the significant association between pruritus and HCV infection. HCV genotype 4 is the most predominant genotype among the pruritus patients and warrants larger studies in different ethnicities to find the molecular association between HCV genetic variants and pruritus.

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