Background: Identification of HCV genotype is a prerequisite for anti-viral treatment in England. Treatment length and sustained virological response rates vary by genotype. Therefore knowledge of circulating HCV genotypes is important for health-care providers. Objectives: To describe the HCV genotypes identified in English laboratories and to investigate changes over time; sub-analysis of young adults (15-24 years) to provide information on recently circulating genotypes. Study design: Data from the national reference laboratory and 19 English laboratories participating in the sentinel surveillance of hepatitis testing study were analysed. Multinomial regression was used to investigate trends in genotypes identified between 2002 and 2007. Results: HCV genotypes were available for 18,031 individuals. The majority (89%) of people were genotypes 1 and 3; 3a was the single largest subtype. Half of people born between 1960 and 1989 were genotype 3a and the majority of South Asian people were genotype 3a. People born pre-1940 were nine times more likely to have genotype 1b than 3a. The proportion of 1b infections, relative to 3a, declined over time, but, after adjusting for birth cohort, this effect disappeared. There was no evidence of a relative change in 1a infections. Conclusions: This is the largest study of genotypes identified in England to date. Changes in genotypes over time were due to decreased genotyping of older individuals. As the population ages, the proportion of more difficult to treat genotypes may decline, leading to possible cost-savings for health-care providers, with a higher chance of achieving sustained virological response. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Hepatitis C