Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Cell culture studies of the efficacy and barrier to resistance of sofosbuvir-velpatasvir and glecaprevir-pibrentasvir against hepatitis C virus genotypes 2a, 2b, and 2C

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The introduction of highly efficient therapies with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection offers exceptional opportunities to globally control this deadly disease. For achieving this ambitious goal, it is essential to prevent antiviral resistance against the most optimal first-line and retreatment DAA choices. We performed independent comparisons of the efficacy and barrier to resistance of pangenotypic DAA regimens for HCV genotype 2 infections, using previously and newly developed efficient cell culture-adapted strains of subtypes 2a, 2b, and 2c. With the applied experimental cell culture conditions, combination treatment with the sofosbuvir-velpatasvir or glecaprevir-pibrentasvir DAA regimen was efficient in eradicating HCV infections; in contrast, single-drug treatments frequently led to viral escape. Sequence analysis of drug targets from recovered viruses revealed known resistance-associated substitutions (RAS) emerging in the NS3 protease or NS5A after treatment failure. These RAS were genetically stable after viral passage, and viruses with these RAS exhibited significant phenotypic resistance. After sofosbuvir treatment failure, only a genotype 2a virus harbored NS5B RAS S282T and thus had decreased susceptibility to nucleotide analogs (nucs). However, in most cases, viral escape from sofosbuvir led to other NS5B substitutions but drug susceptibility was maintained, and in one case, no changes in NS5B were detected. For a genotype 2b virus, after treatment failure with sofosbuvir-velpatasvir, the efficacy of retreatment with glecaprevir-pibrentasvir was maintained due to the high barrier to resistance and low cross-resistance of pibrentasvir. Our findings suggest the slight superiority of glecaprevir-pibrentasvir against genotype 2b in culture, which could have potential therapeutic interest meriting more definitive investigations in the clinic.

TidsskriftAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Udgave nummer3
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 239814848