|Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia|
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
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The aim of this study was to identify the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes distributed in Latvia and to estimate their prevalence in various risk groups. HCV genotypes of 65 isolates were estimated using amplification and direct sequencing of PCR fragments from the core region of HCV genome. Phylogenetic analysis of the genotypes was conducted. Genotype 1b was identified in about 85 % of cases, genotype 3a in about 10 %, and HCV genotypes 1a and 2c were present only in some isolates. A similar epidemiological distribution is typical for the former Soviet Union Republics. Our study suggests that contaminated blood products may be main route of HCV infection in Latvia.