HCV genotype determination in monoinfected and HIV co-infected patients in Cuba

Licel de los Angeles Rodríguez Lay*, Maria Caridad Montalvo Villalba, Marité Bello Corredor, Susel Sariego Frómeta, Jeny Marante Hernández, Santiago Dueñas Carrera, Meilin Sánchez Wong, Marcia Samada, Milay Bello Núñez, Lidunka Valdes Alonso, Hermes Pedreira da Silva Filho, Judith M. Hübschen, Mitermayer G. Reis

*Corresponding author for this work

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5 Citations (Scopus)


With the aim to characterize the HCV genotype distribution in Cuba, sera were collected from two subgroups: HCV-monoinfected and HCV/HIV co-infected patients. A combination of reverse transcription-PCR using genotype-specific primers, restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing was used to determine the genotype of 84 samples. Seventy-nine (94%) showed single infections (10 [12%] were genotype 1a and 69 [82%] genotype 1b) and 5 (6%) samples corresponded to mixed infections (2 [2%] with genotypes 1a/3a and 1 sample [1%] each with 1b/3a, 1b/4a and 1a/1b/3a). HCV/HIV co-infected subjects had a higher frequency of mixed infections (p=0.08), infection with genotype 3a (p=0.18) and for the first time genotype 4a was found. There was no association of any demographic characteristics with any specific genotype although HCV/HIV co-infected patients showed a tendency to have mixed genotypes in those older than 45 years of age (p=0.11). Phylogenetic analysis showed that HCV isolates clustered with subtypes 1b (n=15, maximal genetic distance 2.51%) and 1a (n=2, maximal genetic distance 0.35%). This report presents the prevalence of HCV genotypes in monoinfected and HIV co-infected patients, mixed HCV infections in HCV/HIV co-infected men who have sex with men with high-risk sexual practices and for the first time identifies that the uncommon genotype 4a can be present in a patient co-infected with HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-717
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • HCV
  • HCV/HIV co-infection
  • HIV
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Risk groups


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