This retrospective, multicentre study investigated genotype distribution and correlation with clinical features and outcome in a large series of Italian children. Between 1990 and 2002, 373 HCV RNA positive children, consecutively recruited in 15 centres, were assayed for genotypes by a commercial line probe assay. The following genotype distribution pattern was recorded: genotype 1b = 41%; 1a = 20%; 2 = 17%; 3 = 14.5%; 4 = 5%; other = 2.5%. The prevalence of genotypes 1b and 2 decreased significantly (p<0.001) among children born from 1990 onwards compared with older children (46% v 70%) while the rate of genotypes 3 and 4 increased significantly (from 8% to 30%). Children infected with genotype 3 had the highest alanine aminotransferase levels and the highest rate of spontaneous viraemia clearance within the first three years of life (32% v 3% in children with genotype 1; p<0.001). Of 96 children enrolled in interferon trials during the survey, 22% definitely lost HCV RNA, including 57% of those with genotypes 2 and 3. In conclusion, HCV genotypes 1 and 2 are still prevalent among infected adolescents and young adults in Italy but rates of infection with genotypes 3 and 4 are rapidly increasing among children. These changes could modify the clinical pattern of hepatitis C in forthcoming years as children infected with genotype 3 have the best chance of spontaneous viraemia clearance early in life, and respond to interferon in a high proportion of cases.
|Autori:||Bortolotti F; Resti M; Marcellini M; Giacchino R; Verucchi G; Nebbia G; Zancan L; Marazzi MG; Barbera C; Maccabruni A; Zuin G; Maggiore G; Balli F; Vajro P; Lepore L; Molesini M; Guido M; Bartolacci S; Noventa F|
|Titolo:||Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in 373 Italian children with HCV infection: changing distribution and correlation with clinical features and outcome.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2005|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|