Whether differences in the natural history of Hepatitis C virus can be explained by differences in the infecting Hepatitis C type is unknown.
Dr Helen Harris and colleagues from England investigated whether the Hepatitis C type might influence the clinical outcome of infection.
Study serum samples were assembled from 749 individuals.
The individuals enrolled into the United Kingdom Hepatitis C National Register from which data on clinical outcomes were extracted.
Hepatitis C virus-RNA-positive specimens were genotyped and Hepatitis C virus-RNA-negative specimens serotyped.
|69% with Hep C virus type 1 had cleared infection|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
The research team used logistic regression analysis to investigate the independent effect of Hepatitis C type on viral clearance.
The team compared 86 patients who were Hepatitis C virus RNA negative with 508 who were Hepatitis C virus RNA positive.
The researchers used the same method to investigate whether Hepatitis C virus type was associated with histological stage of liver disease.
The prevalence of Hepatitis C virus type 1 among those who cleared infection was 69%.
The team found that among those who remained Hepatitis C RNA positive the infection clearance rate was 51%.
Type 1 infections were more likely to be Hepatitis C virus RNA negative than non-1 types.
The researchers noted that type 1 infections were also more likely to be associated with histological stage scores above the median when compared with non-1 types.
Dr Harris' team concludes, “Hepatitis C virus type 1 infection was more often Hepatitis C virus RNA negative.”
“This suggests that spontaneous clearance may occur more commonly with this type.”
“Among the RNA-positive infections, type 1 infection may be more aggressive than types 2 or 3.”