A molecular study was carried to investigate the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in HCV infected population of Saudi Arabia. A total of 358 HCV-positive clinical specimens (serum, EDTA plasma) with viral loads above 2,000 IU/ml were collected for genotyping. Genotyping of 358 samples revealed four different genotypes including 1 (1a and 1b), 2a, 3 (3a) and 4. The most prevalent genotype was 4 with rate of 74.2% followed by genotype 3 (11.7%) and 1a (3.9%). The predominance of HCV genotype 4 in our population confirms the predominance of HCV genotype 4 in Saudi Arabia and most of the Arab countries in the Middle East.
Key words: Hepatitis C virus (HCV), genotypes, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
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