Morocco underwent a drift of circulating hepatitis C virus subtypes in recent decades
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) isolates circulating in Morocco are poorly documented. To determine the subgenotype distribution of HCV in chronically infected patients, serum samples from 185 anti-HCV-positive patients were analyzed. Determination of the HCV genotype and subtype was performed by sequencing the 5′UTR, NS5B and core regions. According to the NS5B phylogeny, the HCV strains primarily belonged to subtypes 1b (75.2%), 2i (19.1%) and 2k (2.8%). Using a Bayesian approach, the mean date of appearance of the most recent common ancestor was estimated to be 1910 for HCV-1b and 1854 for HCV-2i. Although it is currently the most frequent genotype in Morocco and the dominant form in hepatocellular carcinoma, it thus appears that HCV-1b was introduced into the population subsequently to HCV-2i.
KeywordsChronic hepatitis C Genotype Subtype 1b Hepatocellular carcinoma Morocco
The authors would like to acknowledge all patients for their participation in this study. We thank Dr. Flor H. Pujol for her help. This work was supported by Pasteur Institute of Morocco.
Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest.
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