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High diversity of hepatitis C viral quasispecies is associated with early virological response in patients undergoing antiviral therapy†
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 50, Issue 6, pages 1765–1772, December 2009
How to Cite
Fan, X., Mao, Q., Zhou, D., Lu, Y., Xing, J., Xu, Y., Ray, S. C. and Di Bisceglie, A. M. (2009), High diversity of hepatitis C viral quasispecies is associated with early virological response in patients undergoing antiviral therapy. Hepatology, 50: 1765–1772. doi: 10.1002/hep.23290
Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Di Bisceglie is a consultant for and received grants from Roche. Drs. Ray and Mao received grants from Roche.
- Issue published online: 20 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 SEP 2009 12:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Received: 4 FEB 2009
- Roche, USA
- NIH. Grant Numbers: R01 DK80711, R21 AI076834
Differential response patterns to optimal antiviral therapy, peginterferon alpha plus ribavirin, are well documented in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Among many factors that may affect therapeutic efficiency, HCV quasispecies (QS) characteristics have been a major focus of previous studies, yielding conflicting results. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the role of HCV QS in antiviral therapy, we performed the largest-ever HCV QS analysis in 153 patients infected with HCV genotype 1 strains. A total of 4,314 viral clones spanning hypervarible region 1 were produced from these patients during the first 12 weeks of therapy, followed by detailed genetic analyses. Our data show an exponential distribution pattern of intrapatient QS diversity in this study population in which most patients (63%) had small QS diversity with genetic distance (d) less than 0.2. The group of patients with genetic distance located in the decay region (d>0.53) had a significantly higher early virologic response (EVR) rate (89.5%), which contributed substantially to the overall association between EVR and increased baseline QS diversity. In addition, EVR was linked to a clustered evolutionary pattern in terms of QS dynamic changes. Conclusion: EVR is associated with elevated HCV QS diversity and complexity, especially in patients with significantly higher HCV genetic heterogeneity.(HEPATOLOGY 2009;50:1765–1772.)