Objectives: The aim was to introduce a diagnostic method for detecting variants of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with protease NS3 resistance primarily to simeprevir (Q80K mutation in HCV genotype 1a) and its subsequent use in routine practice.
Material and methods: The detection of HCV resistance-associated variants in the NS3 protease gene by sequence analysis was introduced in the molecular biology laboratory of University Hospital Hradec Kralove in 2015. The primers were designed by sequence analysis software Custom Primers - OligoPerfect™ Designer. The method was optimized for HCV genotype 1a. The search for variants was performed using two programs.
Results: A total of 16 patients with genotype 1a chronic hepatitis C have been examined since 2015. In five of them, the Q80K variant was detected.
Conclusion: The development of resistance to antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C gained importance after the introduction of direct-acting antivirals. Given the relatively high prevalence of the Q80K mutation in HCV genotype 1a, it is crucial to confirm its presence or absence before the therapy is initiated. The reported method enables clear and early detection of the Q80K mutation.