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Hepatitis C virus genotypes in Kenya

Mwangi, Joseph, Nganga, Zipporah, Mpoke, Solomon, Lihana, Raphael, Kinyua, Joyceline, Lagat, Nancy, Muriuki, Joseph, Lel, Rency, Kageha, Sheila, Osman, Saida, Ichimura, Hiroshi
Archives of virology 2016 v.161 no.1 pp. 95-101
Hepatitis C virus, blood, females, genome, genotype, hemagglutination tests, males, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, public health, seroprevalence, Kenya
Hepatitis C virus is a great public-health concern worldwide. Phylogenetic analysis of the HCV genome has identified six different genotypes that have generally been divided into several subtypes. There is very little information on HCV seroprevalence and genotypes in Kenya. To determine the genotypes of HCV circulating in Kenya, blood donor samples were serologically tested and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Positive samples were cloned and sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis conducted to determine the HCV genotypes. One hundred Murex-seropositive samples were re-tested using a passive hemagglutination test, and 16 of these were identified as seropositive. Further testing of all of the samples by PCR identified only 10 of the 16 samples as positive. Thus, only 10 % (10/100) of the samples were viremic. Six were from females (60 %), and four were from males (40 %). The mean age of the positive donors was considerably low, at 25 +/- 9 years. Genotypic testing indicated the presence of genotype 1a (10 %) and genotype 2b (90 %). This study reports on HCV genotypes in a blood donor population in Kenya where little had been done to provide information on HCV genotypes.