What is a genotype test

HCV genotype (HCVGT)

In the case of a chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), it is advisable to determine the genotype (virus strain) before starting treatment. There are different genotypes in HCV. These are forms of HCV that differ slightly in terms of their viral genetic makeup.

Hepatitis C is a disease that results from infection with the HCV. This can lead to inflammation of the liver tissue (hepatitis), which can lead to jaundice (jaundice). About three quarters of all infections are symptom-free. In the other cases, the illness is often perceived as a supposedly flu-like infection. The acute illness lasts about six to twelve weeks.

The most important complication of hepatitis C is the transition to chronic liver inflammation (50 to 90 percent of cases). Chronic hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.

Infection with HCV occurs via blood or blood products (“parenteral” transmission route). The most common causes of infection are

  • Transfusion of blood or administration of blood products (plasma, coagulation factors, etc.) - in Austria, however, the risk of transmission of viral hepatitis in this way is extremely low,
  • Injury with contaminated needles or sharp objects (e.g. razor blades, tattoo tools),
  • Sexual intercourse (the risk of transmission of hepatitis C is very rare, in contrast to hepatitis B),
  • Infection of the newborn at birth from an HCV infected mother (in up to five percent of cases).

The only way to avoid hepatitis C is:

  • Never use hypodermic needles together (so-called “needle sharing” among drug addicts); Do not use nail scissors, razor blades or toothbrushes together with a person known or suspected to be chronically infected with hepatitis C.

NoteThere is no vaccination against hepatitis C!