We investigated the clinical usefulness of the HCV Monitor Genotype™ test for determining the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes present in Japanese hemophiliacs with chronic hepatitis C and assessed the relation between genotypes and HCV RNA levels, liver function, and coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Study subjects were 43 male hemophiliacs with HCV infection in whom we compared the HCV Monitor Genotype™ test with a previously used method. HCV genotypes were 1 a (n=13), 1 b (n=11), 2 a (n=4), 2 b (n=1), 3 a (n=11), 4 (n=3). There were no discrepancies between two methods in the determination of genotype 2 a, 2 b, and 3 a. However, HCV Monitor Genotype™ test did not discriminate between genotype 1 a and 1 b. HCV RNA levels were higher in 1 b patients than in 2 a patients, but the other clinical variables did not differ significantly between genotypes. Coinfection with HIV did not influence HCV RNA levels. The main HCV genotypes seen in Japanese hemophiliacs were imported genotypes. The HCV Monitor Genotype™ test is able to determine HCV genotype and viral loads at the same time and will be useful for routine clinical testing. However, detection of genotype 1 a, which is found frequently in Japanese hemophiliacs but rarely in non-hemophiliacs, is difficult with this test.
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