• HCV genotype;
  • hemophilia;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • polymerase chain reaction

Abstract: Liver function and antibodies to hepatitis C virus and to human immunodeficiency virus-1 were examined in 195 Japanese patients with hemophilia. One hundred and seventy-three were positive for antibody to HCV and 61 for antibody to human immunodeficiency virus-1. In 63 patients, we examined HCV genotypes according to the double polymerase chain reaction method. Forty cases (63%) were infected with hepatitis C virus with a single genotype, including type 1a in five, type 1b in 21, type 2a in seven and type 2b in seven; 16 (25%) were infected with double genotypes, including types 1a+1b in 14, types 1b+2a in one and types 1b+2b in one; and four (6%) were infected with triple genotypes, including types 1a+1b+2a in two and types 1a+1b+2b in two. Genotype could not be determined in three patients by this method. In the 191 non-hemophiliac patients with chronic hepatitis C, HCV genotyping was as follows: type 1a in 0, type 1b in 121, type 2a in 40 and type 2b in 10 of 171 cases (89.5%) with single infection and types 1b+2a in five and types 2a+2b in one of six (5.5%) with double infection. In the remaining 14 patients, genotype could not be determined. Frequent transfusion of domestic and/or imported coagulation factor concentrates probably caused the high incidence of HCV infection with rare or mixed genotypes in Japanese hemophiliacs.