Viral genome wide association study identifies novel hepatitis C virus polymorphisms associated with sofosbuvir treatment failure

Smith, D. A. et al. (2021) Viral genome wide association study identifies novel hepatitis C virus polymorphisms associated with sofosbuvir treatment failure. Nature Communications, 12, 6105. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25649-6) (PMID:34671027) (PMCID:PMC8528821)

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Abstract

Persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of chronic liver disease, worldwide. With the development of direct-acting antivirals, treatment of chronically infected patients has become highly effective, although a subset of patients responds less well to therapy. Sofosbuvir is a common component of current de novo or salvage combination therapies, that targets the HCV NS5B polymerase. We use pre-treatment whole-genome sequences of HCV from 507 patients infected with HCV subtype 3a and treated with sofosbuvir containing regimens to detect viral polymorphisms associated with response to treatment. We find three common polymorphisms in non-targeted HCV NS2 and NS3 proteins are associated with reduced treatment response. These polymorphisms are enriched in post-treatment HCV sequences of patients unresponsive to treatment. They are also associated with lower reductions in viral load in the first week of therapy. Using in vitro short-term dose-response assays, these polymorphisms do not cause any reduction in sofosbuvir potency, suggesting an indirect mechanism of action in decreasing sofosbuvir efficacy. The identification of polymorphisms in NS2 and NS3 proteins associated with poor treatment outcomes emphasises the value of systematic genome-wide analyses of viruses in uncovering clinically relevant polymorphisms that impact treatment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust (220171/Z/20/Z, 203141/Z/16/Z).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomson, Professor Emma and McLauchlan, Professor John
Authors: Smith, D. A., Fernandez-Antunez, C., Magri, A., Bowden, R., Chaturvedi, N., Fellay, J., McLauchlan, J., Foster, G. R., Irving, W. L., Simmonds, P., Pedergnana, V., Ramirez, S., Bukh, J., Barnes, E., Ansari, M. A., Ball, J., Brainard, D., Burgess, G., Cooke, G., Dillon, J., Gore, C., Guha, N., Halford, R., Herath, C., Holmes, C., Howe, A., Hudson, E., Irving, W., Khakoo, S., Klenerman, P., Koletzki, D., Martin, N., Massetto, B., Mbisa, T., McHutchison, J., McKeating, J., Miners, A., Murray, A., Shaw, P., Spencer, C. C. A., Targett-Adams, P., Thomson, E., Vickerman, P., and Zitzmann, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 12: 6105
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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