Browsing by Subject "HCV"

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  • Virtanen, Elina; Mannonen, Laura; Lappalainen, Maija; Auvinen, Eeva (2018)
    Abstract Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a globally significant blood-borne agent causing liver diseases, and it has infected over 170 million people worldwide. HCV is a diverse group of RNA viruses currently divided into genotypes 1–7 as well as subtypes. HCV infection can be treated with antiviral drugs, but the HCV genotype has to be determined for optimal selection of treatment strategy. The aim of this study was to set up a sequencing-based HCV genotyping method suitable for the workflow of a diagnostic laboratory. The established method is robust and stable, and it utilizes a one-step reverse transcription and PCR amplification of the 5’ untranslated region (5’UTR) and partial Core region of the HCV genome. Amplification products are sequenced using the standard Sanger method, and the genotype is determined by using a freely accessible web-based genotyping tool. The method was validated at the Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory using 238 previously genotyped serum samples. • A new one-step RT-PCR method for the amplification of the 5’ untranslated region and partial Core region of hepatitis C virus was established. • HCV genotype is determined using Sanger sequencing and a freely accessible, easy-to-use web-based genotyping tool. • The method is robust, reproducible and suitable for diagnostic laboratory workflow, and it requires no costly instrumentation or specialized sequence analysis skills.
  • Schneider, Julia; Hoffmann, Bernd; Fevola, Cristina; Schmidt, Marie Luisa; Imholt, Christian; Fischer, Stefan; Ecke, Frauke; Hoernfeldt, Birger; Magnusson, Magnus; Olsson, Gert E.; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Tagliapietra, Valentina; Chiari, Mario; Reusken, Chantal; Buzan, Elena; Kazimirova, Maria; Stanko, Michal; White, Thomas A.; Reil, Daniela; Obiegala, Anna; Meredith, Anna; Drexler, Jan Felix; Essbauer, Sandra; Henttonen, Heikki; Jacob, Jens; Hauffe, Heidi C.; Beer, Martin; Heckel, Gerald; Ulrich, Rainer G. (2021)
    The development of new diagnostic methods resulted in the discovery of novel hepaciviruses in wild populations of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus, syn. Clethrionomys glareolus). The naturally infected voles demonstrate signs of hepatitis similar to those induced by hepatitis C virus (HCV) in humans. The aim of the present research was to investigate the geographical distribution of bank vole-associated hepaciviruses (BvHVs) and their genetic diversity in Europe. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) screening revealed BvHV RNA in 442 out of 1838 (24.0%) bank voles from nine European countries and in one of seven northern red-backed voles (Myodes rutilus, syn. Clethrionomys rutilus). BvHV RNA was not found in any other small mammal species (n = 23) tested here. Phylogenetic and isolation-by-distance analyses confirmed the occurrence of both BvHV species (Hepacivirus F and Hepacivirus J) and their sympatric occurrence at several trapping sites in two countries. The broad geographical distribution of BvHVs across Europe was associated with their presence in bank voles of different evolutionary lineages. The extensive geographical distribution and high levels of genetic diversity of BvHVs, as well as the high population fluctuations of bank voles and occasional commensalism in some parts of Europe warrant future studies on the zoonotic potential of BvHVs.
  • Virtanen, Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a globally significant blood-borne agent causing liver diseases. HCV has infected over 170 million people worldwide and it has become a significant causative agent of chronic liver inflammation also in Finland. HCV is a very diverse group of viruses that is divided into genotypes 1–7 as well as subtypes. HCV infection can be treated with antiviral drugs, and the drug of choice as well as treatment success are determined by the HCV genotype that the patient is carrying. The aim of this study was to develop a new, sequencing based HCV genotyping method for the Laboratory of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUSLAB), at the Department of Virology and Immunology. The focus of the study was to establish a steady and robust genotyping method that would be suitable for the workflow in clinical diagnostics. The samples used in this study had been previously analysed in regular HCV genotyping diagnostics at HUSLAB. The genomic regions chosen for amplification with several different primer options were 5’UTR, core/E1 and NS5B. 5’UTR turned out to be the only suitable option for the diagnostic workflow. The amplification products were sequenced using Sanger method. Amplification of the whole HCV genome in several different reaction conditions for 454 deep sequencing was also attempted to obtain information about possible mixed infections and drug resistance changes in the genome. In this study, a new HCV genotyping method based on Sanger sequencing of the 5’UTR region was successfully established. The method is robust, stable and suitable for the use in clinical diagnostics. The established HCV genotyping method is the first entirely sequencing-based method in clinical viral diagnostics in Finland. The secondary aim, amplification of the whole HCV genome using a method suitable for the workflow of clinical diagnostics was not achieved. Given the demands and restrictions of the workflow of clinical diagnostics we can conclude that routine HCV genotyping with deep sequencing methods is for the present not yet possible.
  • Waldenstrom, Jesper; Hellstrand, Kristoffer; Westin, Johan; Nilsson, Staffan; Christensen, Peer; Färkkilä, Martti; Morch, Kristine; Langeland, Nina; Norkrans, Gunnar; Lagging, Martin (2021)
    Objectives: Despite recombinant interferon-lambda 4 (IFN-lambda 4) demonstrating anti-viral activity in vitro and the ancestral functional gene (IFNL4) being conserved in all other primates, there has been speculation that IFN-?A may be detrimental in humans. In light of recent rekindled interest in humoral immunity, this study aimed at evaluating the impact of baseline characteristics, including IFNL4, on antibody levels to hepatitis C virus (HCV). Materials and methods: Pretreatment sera from 279 well-characterized North European Caucasians with chronic HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection having undergone liver biopsy were analyzed regarding IFNL4 (rs12979860) and anti-HCV antibody levels using a commercially available assay. Results: Patients producing IFN-lambda 4 had higher signal to cut-off (S/CO) anti-HCV antibody ratios as compared with those lacking IFN-lambda 4 (IFNL4(rs1)(2979860) CT/TT versus CC, p Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report that demonstrates that the ability to produce IFN-lambda 4, in addition to male gender, absent/mild steatosis, and lower viral load, augments antibody levels against HCV. This indicates that IFN-lambda 4 may be associated with T helper cell 2 (Th2) immune skewing, which might have clinical implications beyond HCV infection.
  • Waldenstrom, Jesper; Westin, Johan; Nystrom, Kristina; Christensen, Peer; Dalgard, Olav; Farkkila, Martti; Lindahl, Karin; Nilsson, Staffan; Norkrans, Gunnar; Krarup, Henrik; Norrgren, Hans; Buhl, Mads Rauning; Stenmark, Stephan; Lagging, Martin (2016)
    In this pilot study (RibaC), 58 hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infected treatment-naive patients were randomized to (i) 2 weeks ribavirin double dosing concomitant with pegylated interferon-alpha (pegIFN-alpha), (ii) 4 weeks ribavirin mono-therapy prior to adding pegIFN-alpha, or (iii) standard-of-care (SOC) ribavirin dosing concurrent with pegIFN-alpha. Four weeks of ribavirin mono-therapy resulted in a mean 0.46 log(10) IU/mL HCV RNA reduction differentially regulated across IL28B genotypes (0.89 vs. 0.21 log(10) IU/mL for CC and CT/TT respectively; P = 0.006), increased likelihood of undetectable HCV RNA week 4 after initiating pegIFN-alpha and thus shortened treatment duration (P <0.05), and decreased median IP-10 concentration from 550 to 345 pg/mL (P <0.001). Both experimental strategies impacted on ribavirin concentrations, and high levels were achieved after one week of double dosing. However, by day 14, double dosing entailed a greater hemoglobin decline as compared to SOC (2.2 vs. 1.4 g/dL; P = 0.03). Conclusion: Ribavirin down-regulates IP-10, and may have an antiviral effect differently regulated across IL28B genotypes.
  • Grebely, Jason; Bruneau, Julie; Lazarus, Jeffrey V.; Dalgard, Olav; Bruggmann, Philip; Treloar, Carla; Hickman, Matthew; Hellard, Margaret; Roberts, Teri; Crooks, Levinia; Midgard, Havard; Larney, Sarah; Degenhardt, Louisa; Alho, Hannu; Byrne, Jude; Dillon, John F.; Feld, Jordan J.; Foster, Graham; Goldberg, David; Lloyd, Andrew R.; Reimer, Jens; Robaeys, Geert; Torrens, Marta; Wright, Nat; Maremmani, Icro; Norton, Brianna L.; Litwin, Alain H.; Dore, Gregory J.; Int Network Hepatitis (2017)
    Globally, it is estimated that 71.1 million people have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including an estimated 7.5 million people who have recently injected drugs (PWID). There is an additional large, but unquantified, burden among those PWID who have ceased injecting. The incidence of HCV infection among current PWID also remains high in many settings. Morbidity and mortality due to liver disease among PWID with HCV infection continues to increase, despite the advent of well-tolerated, simple interferon-free direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV regimens with cure rates >95%. As a result of this important clinical breakthrough, there is potential to reverse the rising burden of advanced liver disease with increased treatment and strive for HCV elimination among PWID. Unfortunately, there are many gaps in knowledge that represent barriers to effective prevention and management of HCV among PWID. The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney and the International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) established an expert round table panel to assess current research gaps and establish futureresearch priorities for the prevention and management of HCV among PWID. This round table consisted of a one-day workshop held on 6 September, 2016, in Oslo, Norway, prior to the International Symposium on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU 2016). International experts in drug and alcohol, infectious diseases, and hepatology were brought together to discuss the available scientific evidence, gaps in research, and develop research priorities. Topics for discussion included the epidemiology of injecting drug use, HCV, and HIV among PWID, HCV prevention, HCV testing, linkage to HCV care and treatment, DAA treatment for HCV infection, and reinfection following successful treatment. This paper highlights the outcomes of the roundtable discussion focused on future research priorities for enhancing HCV prevention, testing, linkage to care and DAA treatment for PWID as we strive for global elimination of HCV infection. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Dalgard, Olav; Weiland, Ola; Noraberg, Geir; Karlsen, Lars; Heggelund, Lars; Farkkila, Martti; Balslev, Ulla; Belard, Erika; Ovrehus, Anne; Kjaer, Mette Skalshoi; Krarup, Henrik; Roge, Birgit Thorup; Hallager, Sofie; Madsen, Lone G.; Laursen, Alex Lund; Lagging, Martin; Weis, Nina (2017)
    Background and aims Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3 infection with advanced liver disease has emerged as the most challenging to treat. We retrospectively assessed the treatment outcome of sofosbuvir (SOF) based regimes for treatment of HCV genotype 3 infections in a real life setting in Scandinavia. Methods Consecutive patients with chronic HCV genotype 3 infection were enrolled at 16 treatment centers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Patients who had received a SOF containing regimen were included. The fibrosis stage was evaluated by liver biopsy or transient liver elastography. The following treatments were given according availability and local guidelines: 1) SOF + ribavirin (RBV) for 24 weeks, 2) SOF + daclatasvir (DCV) +/-RBV for 12-24 weeks, 3) SOF + pegylated interferon alpha (peg-IFN-a) + RBV for 12 weeks or 4) SOF/ledipasvir (LDV) + RBV for 12-16 weeks. The primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR) assessed at week 12 (SVR12) after end of treatment. Results We included 316 patients with a mean age of 55 years (range 24-79), 70% men, 49% treatment experienced, 58% with compensated cirrhosis and 12% with decompensated cirrhosis. In the modified intention to treat (mITT) population SVR12 was achieved in 284/311 91%) patients. Among 26 treatment failures, five had non-response, 3 breakthrough and 18 relapse. Five patients were not included in the mITT population. Three patients died from reasons unrelated to treatment and two were lost to follow-up. The SVR12 rate was similar for all treatment regimens, but lower in men (p = 0.042), and in patients with decompensated liver disease (p = 0.004). Conclusion We found that sofosbuvir based treatment in a real-life setting could offer SVR rates exceeding 90% in patients with HCV genotype 3 infection and advanced liver disease.