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Emergence of Hepatitis C Virus Genotype Recombinant Forms 2k/1b in Georgia by Mamuka Zakalashvili, Michael Weizenegger, Jan Bartel, Monika Markowski, Jaba Zarqua, Salome Kavsadze, Ketevan Kvatadze, George Basheleishvili, Tamar Phirtskhalaishvili, Tamar Dzagania, Lela Zangurashvili, Nino Kankia, Nino Jashiashvili, Maka Lomidze, Tengiz Telia, Vakhtang Kerashvili, Maia Zhamutashvili, Nikoloz Abramishvili, Irakli Rtskhiladze, David Metreveli

Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) evolution is thought to proceed by mutations within the six major genotypes. Studies of HCV recombinant genotypes in different parts of the world have recently been initiated. Only a few cases of recombination have been identified worldwide, predominantly in Eastern Europe and Asia. In 2011 we detected the recombinant form (RF) of a HCV genotype RF_2k/1b in Georgia. Therefore, we reviewed HCV genotyping data of 491 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infections of our center in Tbilisi over a period of two years.
Methods: Initially all genotyping analyses were performed with the VERSANT HCV genotype assay (Siemens, LiPA). In a second analysis, parts of the core and the NS5B region were sequenced for all HCV genotypes 2a/2c.
Results: Approximately 2/3 of genotype 2 cases were identified as the recombinant form HCV-RF 2k/1b. Overall, this type represented 19% of all HCV patients who underwent genotyping.
Conclusions: We can conclude that almost 20% of HCV infected Georgian patients are infected with HCVRF_2k/ 1b.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2016.151210