BACKGROUND: Both HCV genotypes and viral loads are predictors of therapeutic outcomes among patients treated with α-interferon plus ribavirin; however, such correlation has only been studied for genotypes 1, 2, and 3 but not for genotype 6.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: 299 voluntary blood donors were recruited who were HCV viremic. Their mean age was 31.8; the male/female ratio was 3.82 (225/59). The viral loads of HCV were measured using the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan test (CAP/CTM) while HCV genotypes were determined by direct sequencing the partial NS5B region. HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 6 were determined in 48.9%, 8.7%, 12.3%, and 30.1% of the donors, respectively, and the levels of mean viral loads in genotype 1 and 6 significantly higher than that of 2 and 3 (P<0.001). As a whole, the viral loads in male donors were higher than in female (P = 0.006). Moreover, the donors' gender and HCV genotypes are independently correlated with the measured viral loads.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: HCV genotype 1 and 6 had significantly higher viral loads than genotype 2 and 3.
Rong, X., Lu, L., Wang, J., Xiong, H., Huang, J., Chen, J., … Nelson, K. E. (2012). Correlation of Viral Loads with HCV Genotypes: Higher Levels of Virus Were Revealed among Blood Donors Infected with 6a Strains. PLoS ONE, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052467