ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate, during a short period between 2000 and 2001, in a large population of patients with chronic hepatitis C, the epidemiological characteristics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in France. Data from 26 referral centres, corresponding to 1769 patients with chronic hepatitis C were collected consecutively during a 6-month period. HCV genotyping in the 5'-non-coding region (NCR) was performed in each center using the line probe assay (LiPA, in 63% of cases), sequencing (25%) or primer-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (12%). HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, 5, non-subtyped 1 and mixed infection were found in 18, 27, 9, 21, 9, 3, 11 and 1% of our population, respectively. HCV genotype distribution was associated with gender, age, source and duration of infection, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, cirrhosis, alcohol consumption, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. In multivariate analysis, only the source of infection was the independent factor significantly associated with genotype (P = 0.0001). In conclusion, this study shows a changing pattern of HCV genotypes in France, with i.v. drug abuse as the major risk factor, an increase of genotype 4, and to a lesser extent 1a and 5, and a decrease of genotypes 1b and 2. The modification of the HCV genotype pattern in France in the next 10 years may require new therapeutic strategies, and further survey studies.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 08/2005; 12(4):405-13. · 4.09 Impact Factor