Phylogenetic analysis of hepatitis C virus isolates indicates a unique pattern of endemic infection in Cameroon.
Ndjomou J., Pybus OG., Matz B.
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.