HCV genotype determination in monoinfected and HIV co-infected patients in Cuba.
- Clinical and Applied Virology
With the aim to characterize the HCV genotype distribution in Cuba, sera were collected from two subgroups: HCV-monoinfected and HCV/HIV co-infected patients. A combination of reverse transcription-PCR using genotype-specific primers, restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing was used to determine the genotype of 84 samples. Seventy-nine (94%) showed single infections (10 [12%] were genotype 1a and 69 [82%] genotype 1b) and 5 (6%) samples corresponded to mixed infections (2 [2%] with genotypes 1a/3a and 1 sample [1%] each with 1b/3a, 1b/4a and 1a/1b/3a). HCV/HIV co-infected subjects had a higher frequency of mixed infections (p=0.08), infection with genotype 3a (p=0.18) and for the first time genotype 4a was found. There was no association of any demographic characteristics with any specific genotype although HCV/HIV co-infected patients showed a tendency to have mixed genotypes in those older than 45 years of age (p=0.11). Phylogenetic analysis showed that HCV isolates clustered with subtypes 1b (n=15, maximal genetic distance 2.51%) and 1a (n=2, maximal genetic distance 0.35%). This report presents the prevalence of HCV genotypes in monoinfected and HIV co-infected patients, mixed HCV infections in HCV/HIV co-infected men who have sex with men with high-risk sexual practices and for the first time identifies that the uncommon genotype 4a can be present in a patient co-infected with HIV.