Are There Different Types of Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is divided into six distinct genotypes throughout the world with multiple subtypes in each genotype class. A genotype is a classification of a virus based on the genetic material in the RNA (Ribonucleic acid) strands of the virus. Generally, patients are only infected with one genotype, but each genotype is actually a mixture of closely-related viruses called quasi-species. These quasi-species have the ability to mutate very quickly and become immune to current treatments, which explains why chronic Hepatitis C is so difficult to treat.
Following is a list of the different genotypes of chronic Hepatitis C:
Genotype 2a, 2b, 2c & 2d
Genotype 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e & 3f
Genotype 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f, 4g, 4h, 4i & 4j
Genotype 1 is the most common type of Hepatitis C genotype in the United States and the most difficult to treat. For physicians, knowing the genotype of Hepatitis C is helpful in making a therapeutic recommendation. Individuals with genotypes 2 and 3 are almost three times more likely than individuals with genotype 1 to respond to therapy with alpha interferon or the combination of alpha interferon and ribavirin. Furthermore, when using combination therapy, the recommended duration of treatment depends on the genotype. For this reason, testing for Hepatitis C genotype is often clinically helpful. Once the genotype is identified, it need not be tested again as genotypes do not change during the course of infection.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Hepatitis C, FAQs for Health Professionals” http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/HCVfaq.htm#section1 Retrieved October 28, 2011
HCV Advocate “A Guide to Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effect Management” http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/Treatment_Side_effect_Guide.pdf Retrieved October 28, 2011
Hepatitis-Central.com “Hepatitis C Progress Hampered by Re-Infection and Superinfection” http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2009/05/hepatitis_c_pro_1.html Retrieved October 28, 2011
HIVand Hepatitis.com “Telaprevir Plus Standard Therapy Can Produce Hepatitis C Cure in Less Time” http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hepatitis-c/hepatitis-c-topics/hcv-treatment/3235-telaprevir-plus-standard-therapy-can-produce-hepatitis-c-cure-in-less-time Retrieved October 28, 2011
Journal of General Virology “Hepatitis C virus superinfection of liver grafts: a detailed analysis of early exclusion of non-dominant virus strains” http://vir.sgmjournals.org/content/91/5/1183.short Retrieved October 28, 2011
Massage Today “What is Massage?” http://www.massagetoday.com/aboutmt/ Retrieved October 28, 2011
Mayo Clinic “Hepatitis C” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-c/DS00097 Retrieved October 28, 2011
National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases “What I Need to Know About Hepatitis C” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepc_ez/ Retrieved October 28, 2011
Official Journal of the International Aids Society “Sexually Transmitted Hepatitis C Virus Superinfection in HIV/Hepatitis C Virus co-infected men Who Have Sex With Men” http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/fulltext/2008/03120/sexually_transmitted_hepatitis_c_virus.16.aspx Retrieved October 28, 2011
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health “Hepatoprotective Properties of Silymarin” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560654 Retrieved October 28, 2011
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health “Milk Thistle in Liver Diseases: Past, Present, Future” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Milk%20thistle%20in%20liver%20diseases%20past%2C%20present%20and%20future Retrieved October 28, 2011
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health “Multiple effects of silymarin on the hepatitis C virus lifecycle” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=multiple%20effects%20of%20silymarin%20on%20the%20hepatitis%20c%20virus%20lifecycle Retrieved October 28, 2011
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World Health Organization “Hepatitis C” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ Retrieved October 28, 2011
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