- The Gaza Strip borders the southern part of Israel and Egypt. There is a remarkable difference in the prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV) between Israel (0.5%) and Egypt (10%). A few thousand inhabitants cross the borders daily from the Gaza Strip to both countries. The objectives of this study were to investigate the prevalence of HCV infection in the Gaza Strip, an area that was not studied before, and to study HCV transmission in the Gaza Strip by characterizing the genotypes of HCV in Southern Israel and the Gaza Strip and comparing them with those found in Egypt. HCV prevalence in the Gaza Strip was found to be 2.2%, relatively higher than in Israel but lower than in Egypt. The most common genotypes found were type 1b in Southern Israel and type 4 in the Gaza Strip, corresponding to the most prevalent genotype in Egypt. Similarity between type 4 isolates from the Gaza Strip and Egypt was illustrated further by sequence analysis of the HCV 5′ noncoding region (NCR). J. Med. Virol. 56:230–233, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.