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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood-borne pathogen that poses a significant threat to public health worldwide. The genetic diversity and distribution of HCV genotypes in non-Western countries, particularly subSaharan Africa, is poorly documented. This study reports a phylogenetic analysis of core and NS5B gene sequences of 37 HCV strains sampled in Cameroon. A high level of genetic diversity of both genotypes 1 and 4 was found, indicating a unique pattern of long-term HCV infection that has not been observed elsewhere. These results lead to the hypothesis that these HCV genotypes originated and diversified in west Central Africa before spreading to other regions.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of general virology

Publication Date





2333 - 2341


Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud Strasse 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.


Humans, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Viral Nonstructural Proteins, Viral Core Proteins, RNA, Viral, Endemic Diseases, Phylogeny, Molecular Sequence Data, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Cameroon, Female, Male, Genetic Variation, Molecular Epidemiology