Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32301239
Link to DOI – 10.1111/jvh.13303
J Viral Hepat 2020 09; 27(9): 880-885
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is known to be an important risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Cameroon. However, the effect of HCV-related factors on HCC development still remains unknown in the Central Africa. In this study, we investigated the role of HCV genotypes and core mutations in HCC development in Cameroonian patients.A case-control study was conducted using patients with HCV-related HCC and matched controls individuals with chronic HCV infection but without HCC. HCV genotypes and mutations were determined using a hemi-nested amplification and sequencing analysis focus on the core and NS5B HCV regions.We identify HCV genotype 1, 2 and 4 in both groups. Interestingly, genotype 4 was significantly more prevalent in HCC patients (53.3%). Overall, distribution of genotypes was very different between cases and controls (P = 4.2 E-7). The risk factors analysis showed that infection with HCV-4 is strongly associated with HCC development with odd ratio, 95% confidence interval and p-values of 7.4 (95% CI: 2.08-26.6; P = .001). Furthermore, the risk of developing HCC increased even more significantly in case of infection with HCV subtype 4f with the odd ratio of 20.8 (95% CI, 4.1-66.8; P < .001). Mutations K10R, T72E, K74R and G77A were significantly more frequent in patients with HCC. Remarkably, HCV-4f isolates from HCC patients carried significantly more mutations when compared to controls with HCV-4f or others genotypes (P = .0001).Our results indicate that patients infected with HCV-4f or with selected variants affecting HCV core gene are at increased risk to develop HCC.