This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the Second Workshop of the Regional Study Group on HCV in the Calabria Region (Southern Italy). The virus-host-therapy pathway in HCV disease management: from bench to bedside in the era of Directly Acting Antivirals

Open Access Review

Phylogeny and phylodinamic of Hepatitis C in Italy

Massimo Ciccozzi1*, Alessandra Lo Presti1, Anna Rita Ciccaglione1, Gianguglielmo Zehender2 and Marco Ciotti3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy

2 Department of Clinical Sciences Luigi Sacco, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Milan, Italy

3 Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Foundation Polyclinic Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12(Suppl 2):S5  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-S2-S5

Published: 12 November 2012


Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) is one of the most pressing health emergencies in the world with a global prevalence of about 170 million people chronically infected worldwide. In Europe, Italy has the highest HCV prevalence (3 - 4.4%) with peaks of 12.6 - 26% in Southern regions and the major islands. In Italy HCV genotype 1b prevails, and genotype 4 is mainly found in the south of the country where the prevalence is particularly high in regions such as Calabria.

Phylogenetics analysis is a molecular tool widely used to study rapidly-evolving RNA viruses that establish chronic infections such as HCV. Searching the scientific literature, it was found that thirty-nine genetic studies on HCV genotypes have been carried out in Italy between 1997 to 2012 years. However, phylogenetic analysis was performed only in fourteen out of thirty-nine HCV studies (36%) considered. Monitoring the genetic evolution of HCV is an essential step to control the local as well as global HCV epidemic and to develop efficient preventive and therapeutic strategies.