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Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet 2010;1(3):236-244.

Original Article
Correlation of the 5’untranslated region (5’UTR) and non-structural 5B (NS5B)
nucleotide sequences in hepatitis c virus subtyping

Michael O. Baclig, Veronica F. Chan, John Donnie A. Ramos, Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, and Filipinas F. Natividad

Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA

Received March 31, 2010, accepted July 4, 2010, available online July 7, 2010

Abstract: The 5’untranslated region (5’UTR) is often targeted to detect major genotypes in hepatitis C virus (HCV) but its
insufficient sequence variation limits its usefulness for differentiating HCV subtypes. Subtyping has important implications to
epidemiologic studies, clinical management, and vaccine development. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of variable
regions such as the non-structural 5B (NS5B) is considered the reference method for identifying HCV subtypes. We evaluated
the accuracy of subtyping of HCV genotype 1 (HCV-1) samples from the Philippines by 5’UTR sequencing as compared with
the NS5B sequence. A total of 30 patients infected with HCV-1 previously confirmed by PCR-RFLP and clinically diagnosed with
chronic hepatitis C were analyzed. Nucleotide sequencing of the 5’UTR showed that 15 (50%) were identified as 1a and 15
(50%) were identified as 1b. Sequence analysis of the NS5B revealed that 13 (43%) belonged to subtype 1a while 17 (57%)
belonged to subtype 1b. The most predominant subtype was 1b by NS5B sequencing. The predictive value of 5’UTR
sequencing to subtype 1a was 73% while for subtype 1b, predictive value was 87%. Overall concordance between 5’UTR and
NS5B sequencing was 80%. NS5B sequence and phylogenetic analysis is still the reference method for identifying HCV-1a
and 1b subtypes(IJMEG1003002).

Key words: 5’untranslated region, hepatitis C virus, non-structural 5B, sequencing, subtyping

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Address all correspondence to:
Michael O. Baclig, PhD
Research and Biotechnology Division
St. Luke’s Medical Center
279 E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd.
Quezon City, 1102 Philippines.
Tel: (632) 726-0467
E-mail:
mobaclig@stluke.com.ph