Background: HCV virus infections are one of the major health problems in the world that can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer at a higher rate than other hepatitis data. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of mixed infections with different HCV genotypes in Turkey and also to evaluate the current HCV genotype and sub-type distributions by a multicentered assessment.
Methods: The HCV genotype data of 17,578 hepatitis C patients collected from 23 centers from different geographic regions covering all Turkey were collected. The data included information about the HCV genotypes in the last 10 years (between 2007 and 2016), demographic properties of the patients and the methods/systems used to determine the genotypes.
Results: Two hundred twenty-eight of the patients (1.3%) had mixed genotype. The most common mixed genotype combination was 1b + 4 (0.83%) followed by 1a + 1b (0.26%). Genotype distribution varies according to geographical regions. However, genotype 1 (82.92%) was the most common genotype in all regions and all years. This was followed by genotype 3 (7.07%) and genotype 4 (5.43%). A variety of methods were used by the centers including sequencing, pyrosequencing, real-time PCR, in-house RFLP, reverse hybridization (LIPA), and hybridization.
Conclusions: Infection with mixed HCV genotypes in Turkey is uncommon. Genotype distribution varies according to geographic regions; the most common genotype 1 is encountered all over the country, while genotypes 3 and 4 are only in some of the centers. Since there is limited information about mixed HCV infection, further investigations are needed to determine the clinical importance of mixed HCV infection.