Egypt has one of the world's highest prevalences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, with a majority of genotype 4 infections. To explore the genetic diversity of HCV in Egypt, sera from 131 Egyptians [56 from community studies, 37 chronic hepatitis patients, 28 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and 10 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma] were genotyped by restriction fragment-length polymorphism and phylogenetic analyses of sequences from the mid-core and non-structural 5B regions. The different genotyping methods showed good agreement. The majority of the viruses (83 of 131; 63%) were of subtype 4a, but five other subtypes within genotype 4 were also observed, as well as three genotype 1b, five genotype 1g and one genotype 3a samples. Interestingly, subtype 4o, which was easily identifiable in all three genomic regions, showed an association with HCC (P=0.017), which merits further investigation.