Hepatitis C Virus Antiviral Drug Resistance and Salvage Therapy Outcomes Across Australia

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2024 Mar 18;11(4):ofae155. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofae155. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can now be cured with well-tolerated direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy. However, a potential barrier to HCV elimination is the emergence of resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) that reduce the efficacy of antiviral drugs, but real-world studies assessing the clinical impact of RASs are limited. Here, an analysis of the impact of RASs on retreatment outcomes for different salvage regimens in patients nationally who failed first-line DAA therapy is reported.

Methods: We collected data from 363 Australian patients who failed first-line DAA therapy, including: age, sex, fibrosis stage, HCV genotype, NS3/NS5A/NS5B RASs, details of failed first-line regimen, subsequent salvage regimens, and treatment outcome.

Results: Of 240 patients who were initially retreated as per protocol, 210 (87.5%) achieved sustained virologic response (SVR) and 30 (12.5%) relapsed or did not respond. The SVR rate for salvage regimens that included sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir was 94.3% (n = 140), sofosbuvir/velpatasvir 75.0% (n = 52), elbasvir/grazoprevir 81.6% (n = 38), and glecaprevir/pibrentasvir 84.6% (n = 13). NS5A RASs were present in 71.0% (n = 210) of patients who achieved SVR and in 66.7% (n = 30) of patients who subsequently relapsed. NS3 RASs were detected in 20 patients (20%) in the SVR group and 1 patient in the relapse group. NS5B RASs were observed in only 3 patients. Cirrhosis was a predictor of relapse after retreatment, as was previous treatment with sofosbuvir/velpatasvir.

Conclusions: In our cohort, the SVR rate for sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir was higher than with other salvage regimens. The presence of NS5A, NS5B, or NS3 RASs did not appear to negatively influence retreatment outcomes.

Keywords: Hepatitis C; antimicrobial resistance; antiviral therapy; direct acting antivirals; drug resistance.