Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes: An 8-question Quiz

July 15, 2019
Veronica Hackethal, MD
Veronica Hackethal, MD

How much do you know about the different HCV genotypes and how they impact treatment? Take our quick, 8-question quiz to find out. 

A key variable in the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the type of genotype, which is the strain of the virus a patient was exposed to when they were infected. How much do you know about the different HCV genotypes and how they impact patient treatment?

Click through the 8 statements below to see if you can decipher which ones are true or plain false. 

 

1. There are 6 separate HCV genotypes with the most common in the US being genotype 6.

A. True
B. False

Please click here for answer and next question.

Answer: B. False. Approximately 75% of adults in the US with HCV have genotype 1 vs 20%-25% having genotypes 2 or 3. Genotype 4 is most common in Africa and genotype 6 is most common in Southeast Asia.1,2

 

2. In the US, approximately 90% of African Americans with HCV carry genotype 2.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: B. False. In the US, approximately 90% of African Americans with HCV carry genotype 1 vs 67% of Caucasians with HCV.3

 

3. Infection with HCV genotype 1b is linked to an increased risk of liver cirrhosis.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: A. True. HCV genotypes are labeled with letters, ie, 1a and 1b. Infection with genotype 1b is linked to a higher risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.3

 

4. During the course of HCV infection, genotypes can mutate and change numbers. For example, genotype 1 often changes to genotype 2.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: B. False. During the course of HCV infection, genotypes usually stay the same. However, mutations within the same genotype can contribute to drug resistance.3

 

5. HCV infection with more than 1 genotype is common.

A. True
B. False

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Answer B. False. Most people are infected with just 1 genotype. Some people are infected with multiple genotypes, especially if they travel between geographic regions where different genotypes are prevalent.3

 

6. HCV genotype 3 is the second most common HCV subtype in the world, but is harder to treat vs other genotypes.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: A. True. HCV genotype 3 is harder to treat vs other HCV genotypes especially if patients have previously tried treatment, have cirrhosis, and have decompensated liver disease. Genotype 3 is linked to faster progression to liver disease, higher rates of steatosis, and increased risk of liver cancer; it is particularly common in northern Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.3

 

7. Treatment duration is the same regardless of HCV genotype.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: B. False. The World Health Organization recommends a treatment duration of 12 weeks for genotypes 1, 3, 5, and 6 and 24 weeks for genotype 3.4

 

8. Different HCV genotypes are usually treated with different types of drugs.

A. True
B. False

Please click here for answer.

Answer: A. True. Genotypes 1, 4, 5, and 6 are commonly treated with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir. Genotypes 2 and 3 are commonly treated with sofosbuvir/ribavirin. Some DAAs are pangenotypic and can treat multiple genotypes.4

Image ©Kateryna_Kon/Shutterstock.com

References:

1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hepatitis C. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/hepatitis-c. Published May 2017. Accessed July 15, 2019. 

2. US Department of Veterans Affairs. Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease. https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/hcv/background/genotypes.asp. Accessed July 15, 2019.

3. Treatment Action Group. HCV Genotypes. http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/hcv/factsheets/hcv-genotypes. Published February 2017. Accessed July 15, 2019.

4. World Health Organization. Hepatitis C. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c. Published July 9, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2019.