Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a main health problem in Egypt causing high rates of mortalities. Egypt has the highest HCV prevalence in the world, with specific HCV subtypes epidemic and circulating extensively in the country. Different antiviral therapy protocols have been implemented for treating Egyptian HCV patients. Due to the limited data about HCV in Egypt, this study aimed to genotype HCV strains circulating in the Nile Delta Damietta governorate and to investigate the variation in the nonstructural 5B (NS5B) region targeted by the newly approved antiviral drugs. Thirty HCV samples from treatment-naïve patients were genotyped by restriction fragment length polymorphism. Some samples were genotyped by direct sequencing of their 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and NS5B regions. Phylogenetic analysis was also performed on the sequences of their NS5B regions. Fourteen new sequences have been deposited in the GenBank database. Results showed that subtype 4a was prevalent in addition to subtype 1g. None of the previously reported NS5B substitutions were detected in the sequenced isolates from treatment-naïve patients, which may be a good predictor for efficient treatment of HCV Egyptian patients with Sofosbuvir. Further studies on Sofosbuvir treated-HCV Egyptian patients are required to investigate whether any NS5B substitutions can confer resistance to treatment.
El-Tahan, R. R., Ghoneim, A. M., & Zaghloul, H. (2018). 5′ UTR and NS5B-based genotyping of hepatitis C virus in patients from Damietta governorate, Egypt. Journal of Advanced Research, 10, 39–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2018.01.004