Geographic distribution of HCV genotypes in Libya and analysis of risk factors involved in their transmission



Daw MA, El-Bouzedi A, Dau AA.


BMC Res Notes. 2015 Aug 21;8:367. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1310-x.


BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes have been shown to be differently distributed between distinct geographical areas. Libya is a large country has the longest coast in the Mediterranean basin. Information regarding hepatitis C genotypes and subtypes circulating in Libya are not well known. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of various HCV genotypes cross Libya and the demographic and attributable risk factors associated with HCV transmission among Libyan population. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out on patients with recently confirmed HCV infection. A total of 3,227 serum samples enrolled at 19 collection center cross Libya. 1,756 belonged to Tripoli region, 452 to West region 355 to North region, 181 South regions and 483 East region. The samples were tested by type specific genotyping assay and correlated with demographic and potential risk factors within the studied populations. RESULTS: A total of 20 discrete genotypes and subtypes were identified among the Libyan population ranging from 11.5 to 0.3% cross the country. Genotype 1 was the most frequent among all regions (19.7-40.5%), reaching the highest value in Tripoli region, followed by genotype 4 which was more prevalent in the South (49.3%) and West (40.0%) regions. Genotype 3, was higher in Tripoli (21.3%) and East (15.9%) regions while genotype 2, common in North (23.6%) and South (22.5%) regions. However, we found evidence that there is a changing relative prevalence of HCV genotypes in relation to age, gender and the mode of transmission which is reflected in the predominance of certain genotypes among Libyan population. CONCLUSIONS: Different HCV genotypes were isolated form Libyan population including newly emerged ones. The prevalence of the genotypes varied by geographic region and influenced by demographic and risk factors. Knowing the frequency and distribution of the genotypes would provide key information on understanding the spread of HCV in Libya and this could be greatly reflected on national plans and future strategies for infection prevention.

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Link/DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1310-x