Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infections and distribution of hepatitis C virus genotypes among Korean blood donors.Ann Lab Med. 2012 May; 32(3):210-5.AL
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a worldwide health-care burden. Prevalence rates vary and the distribution of genotypes depends on geographical location. Here, the recent prevalence of HCV infections and distribution of HCV genotypes among Korean blood donors were studied.
Between February 2005 and December 2009, a total of 11,064,532 donors were screened for anti-HCV and 11,412,690 donors were screened for HCV RNA. HCV genotyping was conducted for 748 blood donors with HCV RNA by using the line probe assay (VERSANT HCV Genotype 2.0 Assay, Bayer Healthcare, USA) after amplification of the 5'-untranslated and core regions of the genome.
The anti-HCV prevalence was 0.16% (17,250/11,064,532). HCV RNA was detected in 959 out of the 11,412,690 donors (8.4/100,000). HCV RNA was more prevalent among women, donors who resided at harbor sites, and first-time donors. In addition, the prevalence of HCV RNA increased with age. The genotypes of 740 out of the 748 tested donors (98.9%) were identified. HCV genotype 1b (47.7%) and 2a/2c (35.0%) were dominant. Genotypes 2 (7.6%), 2b (2.3%), 3a (1.6%), 1a (1.3%), 1 (0.9%), 2v (0.5%), 1v (0.1%), and 3 (0.1%) were also identified. Genotype 4a/4c/4d (0.1%) was detected for the first time in one Korean blood donor.
The distribution of HCV genotypes in Korea has not changed remarkably, with the exception of genotype 4a/4c/4d. A periodic study to monitor the prevalence of HCV infections and the distribution of HCV genotypes is required to identify emerging genotypes in Korea.