a1 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St Louis Hospital, Aleppo, Syria
a2 Department of Gastroenterology, Ibn Nafis Hospital, Damascus, Syria
a3 Department of Laboratory Medicine, St Louis Hospital, Aleppo, Syria
a4 Department of Gastroenterology, Deir Al Zor National Hospital, Deir Al Zor, Syria
a5 Department of Gastroenterology, Homs National Hospital, Homs, Syria
a6 Department of Gastroenterology, Mouassat Hospital, Damascus, Syria
a7 Department of Gastroenterology, Squelbiye National Hospital, Squelbiye, Syria
a8 Department of Gastroenterology, Lattakia National Hospital, Lattakia, Syria
a9 Department of Gastroenterology, Sweida National Hospital, Sweida, Syria
a10 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepato-Pancreatology, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Genotype 5 (G5) was initially discovered and is still mainly diagnosed in South Africa. No cases of G5 have ever been reported from the Middle East countries. The aim of the study was to determine the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype distribution in Syria and the prevalence of G5 in this country. Genotyping of HCV was performed in 636 consecutive HCV patients referred to eight medical centres in Syria over a 3-year period. Genotype 4 was the most frequent genotype (375 patients, 59%) followed by genotype 1 (181 patients, 28·5%) and G5 (64 patients, 10%). The majority of G5 patients (56 cases, 87%) live in the north of Syria, including 21 cases (33%) from Azaz, a small city close to Turkey. No obvious epidemiological reason for such high prevalence of G5 was found.
(Accepted February 18 2008)
(Online publication March 17 2008)
Part of this study was presented at the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Syrian Society of Gastroenterology, Damascus, Syria, April 2007, and at the 15th United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW), Paris, October 2007.
† See Appendix for details of Syrian Working Group for the Study of Viral Hepatitis.