The hepatitis C virus has variations called genotypes. It is common to hear Doctors referring to these variations since each genotype has its own therapeutic response to treatment with Interferon and Ribavirin.
Another important factor that must be considered is the aggressiveness that each genotype of HCV presents. Recent studies in Switzerland, and published in Hepatology magazine show this variation in the speed of the onset of fibrosis and the appearance of cirrhosis.
There are up to 11 kinds of genotypes of hepatitis worldwide.
Genotype 1 is the most common among patients infected with HCV, but is more resistant and harder to treat. Usually patients with genotype 1 undergoing treatment with interferon and ribavirin do not respond to the treatment, having to undergo a subsequent repeat of the treatment.
Many doctors call them slow responders or non-responders.
The genotypes 2 and 3 are easier to deal with, respond better to treatment however, genotype 3 is the most aggressive with respect to speed of the onset of fibrosis and cirrhosis, which should be considered in the possibility of receiving treatment as soon as possible.
Genotypes See Below the geographical spread of different types of genotypes of hepatitis C worldwide:
Found mainly in North America and South America, is also common in Australia
Found mainly in Europe, Asia and the Americas regions.
is a subtype genotype of 2 most common in Japan and China.
Genotype 2 b
is the subtype of genotype 2 more common in the U.S. and Northern Europe.
is a subtype of genotype 2 most common in Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Europe.
highly prevalent in Australia (40 % of cases) and South Asia.
highly prevalent in Egypt.
highly prevalent in central Africa.
highly prevalent in South Africa
Genotype restricted to Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam.
7a and 7b genotypes
common genotypes in Thailand.
Genotypes 8a, 8b and 9a
genotypes found in Vietnam.
Genotypes 10a and 11a
genotypes found in Indonesia.