Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core serotypes in chronic HCV infection

M. U. Mondelli, A. Cerino, F. Bono, A. Cividini, A. Maccabruni, M. Arico, A. Malfitano, G. Barbarini, V. Piazza, L. Minoli, E. Silini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, two distinct hepatitis C virus (HCV) serologic types have been identified on the basis of amino acid variations in the core region. The two serologic types can readily discriminate between genotypes I-II-V (serotype 1) and III-IV (serotype 2), according to the Okamoto classification. We compared HCV core serotyping with genotyping with sera from 363 anti-HCV- positive patients (309 HCV RNA positive by PCR) using a synthetic core peptide-based enzyme immunoassay and PCR amplification of core region sequences with type-specific primers, respectively. Serologic responses to HCV serotypes were successfully identified in 164 (45%) patients, of whom 153 were viremic. Eighty-nine patients had evidence of exposure to serotype 1: 8 of these were infected with genotype I, 50 were infected with genotype II, 2 were infected with genotype III, 7 were infected with genotype V, 13 had infections with mixed genotypes, 3 were infected with an indeterminate genotype, and 6 were nonviremic. Seventy-four patients had been exposed to serotype 2: 64 were infected with genotype III, 3 were infected with mixed genotypes, 2 were infected with an indeterminate genotype, and 5 were nonviremic. The serum of one patient, infected with genotype III, showed reactivity to both serotypes. Comparative evaluation of HCV core region serotyping and genotyping with sera from 294 viremic patients infected with a known HCV genotype showed a remarkable concordance between HCV core region genotyping and serotyping, with only 2 apparently discordant serum samples (both from patients with genotype III infection) of 148 (1.4%) successfully serotyped samples. Serotype 1 infection was more frequently observed in patients with overt chronic liver disease and accounted for all successfully serotyped samples from intravenous drug abusers. In contrast, serotype 2 was more prevalent in subjects with biochemically silent HCV infection (alanine aminotransferase,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2523-2527
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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