Global Journal of Transfusion Medicine

: 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 124--125

The genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus in blood donors in Fuzhou

Lin Hongkeng, Jiang Weimei, Lin Shou 
 Department of Blood Transfusion, Fujian Provincial Blood Center, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lin Hongkeng
Department of Blood Transfusion, Fujian Provincial Blood Center, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian

How to cite this article:
Hongkeng L, Weimei J, Shou L. The genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus in blood donors in Fuzhou.Glob J Transfus Med 2019;4:124-125

How to cite this URL:
Hongkeng L, Weimei J, Shou L. The genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus in blood donors in Fuzhou. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 16 ];4:124-125
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a positive-stranded RNA virus, which comprises of a highly variable gene within the Flaviviridae family. The whole HCV genome is approximately 9.4 Kb in size. HCV can be divided into six types according to the similarity of nucleic acid sequences, and each type can be divided into multiple subtypes. HCV is a very important virus in blood transfusion, is tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) since 1997 in all blood services of China, and from 2010, HCV nucleic acid testing (NAT) was implemented. A lot of data about HCV antibody or HCV NAT in blood donors were reported recently. However, there were only a few reports about HCV genotype distribution of blood donors in our country, especially in Fujian province.

The aim of this study is to investigate the HCV genotype distribution among blood donors of Fuzhou area and to find if there are some differences between blood donors and other populations. In addition, it aims to assess the HCV genotyping method of 5′ untranslated region (5′ UTR) sequencing with phylogenetic analysis.


All of the samples collected from blood donors were tested with HCV antibody and RNA by ELISA and NAT, and both the reactive samples were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The samples amplified successfully were subjected to 5′ UTR gene DNA sequencing. Interpretation of DNA sequences was done using NCBI website to get the initial genotype results, and then, sequencing results were analyzed by phylogenetic tree analysis software. HCV genotypes were finally determined by Mega 5.0 software.


Totally 2,99,531 samples were tested, and 92 were both reactive by ELISA and NAT screening; only 52 of them were amplified successfully by PCR. All of these samples were tested for the genotypes by combining with 5′ UTR gene sequencing with phylogenetic analysis [Figure 1]. Genotype sequences were obtained for all samples except 1 which was indeterminate. The results were 6a ([19/51] 37.3%), 1b ([19/51] 37.3%), 3a ([6/51] 11.7%), 1a ([2/51] 3.9%), 3b ([3/51] 5.9%), and others ([2/51] 3.9%).{Figure 1}


The genotype of HCV strain infecting a given patient is an important predictive factor for the clinical outcome of chronic liver disease and its response to antiviral therapeutic agents. 1a, 1b, and 3a were major prevalent genotypes in Europe, but most genotypes found in West Africa were 2, and genotypes 1 and 4 were limited in Central Africa; 3a and 6a genotypes were predominant in South and East Asia. The major prevalent genotypes in China were 1b and 2a, but the genotype distributions varied from different regions. 6a and 1b genotypes are predominant in Fujian province.

A variety of methods have been developed for HCV genotype determination. The majority of these assays rely on the amplification of short HCV RNA regions from samples, followed by a type-specific assay, such as restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, line-probe reverse hybridization, or sequence analysis. Moreover, sequence analysis is the gold standard in these methods. 5′ UTR, C, El, and NS5B regions are often used to analyze, and a little difference is observed due to different regions used. 5′ UTR was chosen to sequence in this study, and the HCV genotypes were determined finally by phylogenetic analysis. Of the 51 cases genotyped 19 belonged to genotype 6a and another 19 to genotype 1b. Together these two accounted for 74.5% of the prevalent genotypes. Hence, 6a and 1b were the main HCV genotypes in the blood donors in Fuzhou area of China, and it was similar to other populations reported in our province.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.