[Comparison of 5'UTR and HVR1 of hepatitis c virus (HCV) in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the early phase of interferon and ribavirin treatment]

Przegl Epidemiol. 2011;65(2):319-24.
[Article in Polish]


Genetic heterogeneity is a characteristic feature of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and it reflects selection mechanisms affecting the virus. It is considered a major factor contributing the viral persistence and drug resistance. The following work presents the preliminary results of 5'UTR and E2/HVR1 genetic variation analysis and comparison in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 7 patients before and during the early phase of pegylated interferon alfa (PEG-IFN-alpha) and ribavirin therapy. Single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis revealed genetic stability of 5'UTR in all but one patient who did not respond to treatment (SVR-), where new genetic variants appeared. E2/HVR1 genetic changes were characteristic in patients displaying treatment failure (SVR-) and usually reflected fluctuations in complexity and appearance of new genetic HCV variants. Genetic changes (reduction in complexity) were found in one of three sustained virological responders (SVR+ patients). Comparatory analysis of the HCV quasispecies present in serum and PBMC showed differences in at least one analysed region in all non-responders. Presented results suggest the independent forces driving genetic changes in analysed regions. They also point out the presence of genetic compartmentalization possibly having an impact on antiviral treatment result.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Poland
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / drug effects*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • glycoprotein E2, Hepatitis C virus
  • Ribavirin