Genotypes of Hepatitis C Virus in Relapsed and Non-respondent Patients and their Response to Anti-Viral Therapy in District Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Pakistan

  • Akhtar, Noreen (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Science, Abasyn University) ;
  • Bilal, Muhammad (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Science, Abasyn University) ;
  • Rizwan, Muhammad (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Science, Abasyn University) ;
  • Khan, Muhammad Asif (Department of Pathology, District Head Quarter Hospital Mardan, KPK) ;
  • Khan, Aurangzeb (Department of Pathology, District Head Quarter Hospital Mardan, KPK)
  • Published : 2015.03.04


Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease of liver, caused by a small enveloped, positive-single stranded RNA virus, called the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV belongs to the Flaviviridae family and has 6 genotypes and more than 100 subtypes. It is estimated that 185 million people are infected with HCV worldwide and 5% of these are in Pakistan. The study was designed to evaluate different genotypes of HCV circulating in District Mardan and to know about the behavior of these genotypes to different anti-viral regimes. In this study 3,800 patients were exposed to interferon alfa-2a plus Ribavirin treatment for 6-months and subjected to real-time PCR to check the viral response. Among these 3,677 (97%) patients showed no detectable HCV RNA while 123 (3%) patients (non-responders) remained positive for HCV RNA. Genotypes of their analyzed showed that most of them belonged to the 3a genotype. Non-responders (123) and relapsed (5) patients were subjected to PEG-interferon and Ribavirin therapy for next 6 months, which resulted into elimination of HCV RNA from 110 patients. The genotypes of the persisting resistant samples to anti-viral treatment were 3b, 2a, 1a and 1b. Furthermore, viral RNA from 6 patients remained un-typed while 4 patients showed mixed infections. HCV was found more resistant to antiviral therapy in females as compared to mals. The age group 36-45 in both females and males was found most affected by infection. In general 3a is the most prevalent genotype circulating in district Mardan and the best anti-viral therapy is PEG-interferon plus Ribavirin but it is common practice that due to the high cost patients receive interferon alfa-2a plus Ribavirin with consequent resistance in 3% patients given this treatment regime.


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