Naturally occurring, resistance-associated hepatitis C virus NS5A variants are linked to interleukin-28B genotype and are sensitive to interferon-based therapy.

The presence of resistance-associated variants (RAV) may attenuate the efficacy of direct-acting antivirals (DAA) in combination therapy for hepatitis C. The aim of this study was to characterize the NS3 and NS5A regions of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in naturally occurring RAV.
The NS3 and NS5A regions of HCV were amplified by nested polymerase chain reaction and their nucleotide sequences were determined by direct sequencing in 493 genotype 1b patients naive to DAA-based therapies. The effect of baseline RAV on response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy was analyzed in 65 patients after stratification by interleukin (IL)-28B genotype.
The incidence of RAV was 7.9% in NS3 (V36I/L, 1.2%; T54S, 2.8%; Q80K/R, 3.0%; A156S, 0.2%; and D168E/T, 2.4%) and 20.2% in NS5A (L31I/M, 2.2%; and Y93H, 19.0%). The incidence in interferon experienced and naive patients was similar. The incidence of Y93H in NS5A was significantly higher in the IL-28B TT genotype (rs8099917) than non-TT (27.1% vs 9.5%, P < 0.001). The virological response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin therapy was not affected by the presence of RAV in IL-28B TT genotype.
RAV, especially Y93H in the NS5A region, were highly prevalent in DAA naive patients with genotype 1b HCV in Japan and were linked to IL-28B TT genotype. Interferon-based therapy could be an alternative for patients with RAV because these variants did not attenuate the response to that therapy. The analysis of RAV may impact the selection of the optimal treatment strategy.
AuthorsJun Itakura, Masayuki Kurosaki, Hitomi Takada, Natsuko Nakakuki, Syuya Matsuda, Kouichi Gondou, Yu Asano, Nobuhiro Hattori, Yoshie Itakura, Nobuharu Tamaki, Yutaka Yasui, Shoko Suzuki, Takanori Hosokawa, Kaoru Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Nakanishi, Yuka Takahashi, Syinya Maekawa, Nobuyuki Enomoto, Namiki Izumi
JournalHepatology research : the official journal of the Japan Society of Hepatology (Hepatol Res) Vol. 45 Issue 10 Pg. E115-21 (Oct 2015) ISSN: 1386-6346 [Print] Netherlands
PMID25564756 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Copyright© 2015 The Japan Society of Hepatology.

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