Impact of novel NS5A resistance-associated substitutions of hepatitis C virus detected in treatment-experienced patients

Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 5;9(1):5722. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42114-z.


Resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the NS5A region impair the efficacy of NS5A inhibitors. In this study, we evaluated the characteristics of the novel RASs observed in treatment-failure patients, A92K and a deletion at P32 (P32del), and the susceptibility of viruses with these RASs to various anti-HCV reagents by using JFH-1 based recombinant HCV with NS5A from a genotype 1b Con1 strain (JFH1/5ACon1). We introduced A92K or P32del solely or in combination with Q24K, L28M, R30Q or L31F into the NS5A of JFH1/5ACon1. Viruses harboring R30Q/A92K showed high extracellular core antigens and infectivity titers, whereas the other viruses with RASs showed low replication levels and infectivity titers. All the viruses with A92K or P32del were markedly resistant to ledipasvir, velpatasvir and elbasvir. Interestingly, viruses with R30Q/A92K were more susceptible to grazoprevir than viruses without RAS. All the viruses had a similar susceptibility to ribavirin and sofosbuvir. In conclusion, combination RASs R30Q/A92K enhanced virus production whereas other RASs impaired virus replication. Both A92K and P32del conferred severe resistance even to second generation NS5A inhibitors. However, these viruses were susceptible to grazoprevir, ribavirin and sofosbuvir. Thus, combination regimens with these reagents may eradicate viruses harboring A92K or P32del.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Sustained Virologic Response
  • Treatment Failure
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / genetics*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • NS-5 protein, hepatitis C virus
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins