Background and Aims: Although chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects millions of people in India, few studies have assessed host, viral, and disease characteristics of chronically infected patients at national and regional levels. Such information is critical to support large scale screening and treatment initiatives for chronic HCV infection in India. Methods: Patients with known chronic HCV infection making routine or for-cause visits to the participating study centers were enrolled in this observational study. Patients attended a single outpatient visit during which demographics and medical history were collected, a physical examination was performed, and blood and urine samples were collected for laboratory assessments. Samples were analyzed to determine HCV genotypes and subtypes, and genotypes of interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3) single nucleotide polymorphism. No therapeutic interventions were administered. Results: We enrolled 500 patients at 19 centers, categorized into four geographic regions (North, South, East, and West). All patients self-identified as Indian, and most (66 %) were male. Genotype 3 was the most common genotype overall (54 %); however, its prevalence varied greatly by region, ranging from 34 % in the South to 69 % in the East. Genotypes 1 (24 %) and 4 (6 %) were the next most common, and HCV genotype could not be determined for 16 % of patients. Conclusions: This prospective survey suggests that demographics, viral, and host factors in patients with chronic HCV infection are highly variable in India and pose significant challenges for the implementation of broad-scale screening and treatment initiatives.
- Chronic HCV
- Hepatitis C prevalence in India
ASJC Scopus subject areas