Background/Aim: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) populations in vivo consist of genetically different heterogeneous mixtures defined as ‘quasispecies’, which vary in the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) mostly. To further address the role of quasispecies diversity in hepatitis C infection, this study aimed to evaluate the influence of ALT, viral load and genotypes on quasispecies heterogeneity in patients with HCV infection. Methods: Thirty-six chronic hepatitis C patients with high levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were studied. None of them received any antiviral therapy. HCV RNA serum levels, genotype and genetic heterogeneity were determined by branched-chain DNA assay, restriction fragment length patterns and RT-PCR single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis of HVR1, respectively. Results: Twenty-eight patients had genotype 1b (28/36; 78%), 6 patients had genotype 1a (6/36; 17%), 1 patient was 2a (1/36; 3%) and genotype could not be determined in 1 patient. The patients were categorized into two groups according to the number of bands representing the dominant strains in the circulation: group A with 2 bands having 1 strain (14/36 patients; 39%) and group B with more than 2 bands indicating more than 1 strain (22/36 patients; 61%). The serum viremia and ALT levels for these groups were 11 ± 8.8 and 5.3 ± 4.6 mEq/ml (p < 0.05), and 79 ± 20, and 127 ± 80 IU/l (p < 0.05), respectively. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that hepatitis C patients having 1 dominant strain in the circulation may show a relatively weaker immune response resulting in lower ALT and higher viremia levels, whereas patients with high degrees of virus quasispecies diversity have higher ALT levels and a more active immune response causing the selection of new genome variants and depressing viral replication partly.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.