How Is Having Two Genotypes of Hepatitis C Different From Having One?


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An individual with two genotypes of hepatitis C may receive different treatment or have a different response to treatment than a person with one genotype of hepatitis C, notes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The majority of people with hepatitis C are only infected with one genotype.

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The genotype of hepatitis C refers to the specific strain of the virus that the person was infected with when initially exposed, explains the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A blood test is required to determine the genotype, which doctors use to choose an appropriate treatment. While outcomes of treatment may differ based on hepatitis C genotype, genotypes are not associated with differences in disease progression or incidence of developing liver cancer, as noted by Healthline.

As of 2015, researchers have discovered six main genotypes of hepatitis C, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Although genotype 1 is found worldwide, it is most common in the United States. About 75 percent of Americans with hepatitis C are infected with genotype 1. The remaining 20 to 25 percent of Americans with hepatitis C are infected with either genotype 2 or 3. Genotype 4 is most common in Africa, while genotype 6 is primarily found in Southeast Asia.

Patients with the hepatitis genotype two often respond better to treatment than patients with genotype one. Most often, genotype two only requires 24 weeks of treatment, rather than the 48 required for genotype one. Generally, the specific genotype does not play a significant role in the progression of liver disease. Fifteen to 25 percent of infected patients clear the infection from their bodies without treatment.

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