Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 191–195 | Cite as

Exponential Spread of Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 4a in Egypt

  • Yasuhito Tanaka
  • Salah Agha
  • Niveen Saudy
  • Fuat Kurbanov
  • Etsuro Orito
  • Takanobu Kato
  • Mostafa Abo-Zeid
  • Mohamed Khalaf
  • Yuzo Miyakawa
  • Masashi MizokamiEmail author


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects >10% of the general population in Egypt, in which intravenous injection with an antimony compound for endemic schistosomiasis in the past has been implicated. To simulate the epidemic history of HCV in Egypt, sera were obtained from 3608 blood donors at 13 governorates in or surrounding the Nile valley during 1999. The prevalence of antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) and genotypes was determined in them, and the molecular evolutionary analysis based on the neutral theory was applied to HCV isolates of genotype 4a, which is outstandingly prevalent in Egypt and indigenous there. Of 3608 sera, 317 (8.8%) were positive for anti-HCV. The molecular evolutionary analysis on 47 HCV genotype 4a isolates of carriers from various districts in Egypt indicated that the spread of HCV-4a would have increased exponentially during the 1940s through 1980 when oral medications became available. In conclusion, the estimated spread time is consistent with the duration of intravenous antimony campaigns in Egypt.


Hepatic C virus Genotype 4a Egypt Neutral theory Molecular evolutionary analyses Schistosomiasis Parenteral treatment 



This study was supported by grants-in-aid for Young Scientists (B) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Sports of Japan (14770239), a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H13-kanen-2), and the Public Trust Haraguchi Memorial Cancer Research Fund. We greatly appreciate Dr. Oliver G. Pybus (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) for his enlightening advice on the molecular evolutionary analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuhito Tanaka
    • 1
  • Salah Agha
    • 3
  • Niveen Saudy
    • 3
  • Fuat Kurbanov
    • 1
  • Etsuro Orito
    • 2
  • Takanobu Kato
    • 1
  • Mostafa Abo-Zeid
    • 4
  • Mohamed Khalaf
    • 5
  • Yuzo Miyakawa
    • 6
  • Masashi Mizokami
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Molecular Informative MedicineNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kawasumi, Mizuho, Nagoya 467-8601Japan
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular ScienceNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, NagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PathologyFaculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, MansouraEgypt
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryFaculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, MansouraEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Clinical PathologyFaculty of Medicine, Assuit University, AssuitEgypt
  6. 6.Miyakawa Memorial Research Foundation, TokyoJapan

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