Genetic heterogeneity of hepatitis C virus cell entry receptors seems to have no influence on selection of virus variants

Background: No information is available on the possible influence of the genetic heterogeneity of major hepatitisC virus (HCV) cell receptors on selection of virus variants.

Findings: Anti-D globulin preparations contaminated with the HCV strain AD78 caused hepatitis C infection inmore than 3000 women in East Germany in 1978. Analysis of the core to NS2 gene sequences of this strain inseveral globulin batches revealed the presence of three closely related but distinct virus variants of the same strain.Apparently even distribution of these three virus variants was observed in 91 patients infected with the AD78 strain.None of these patients was infected with more than one virus variant, suggesting a selection mechanism of aparticular virus variant in each patient. To verify the hypothesis that heterogeneity of HCV cell receptors mightinfluence the virus variant selection, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in low-density lipoprotein receptor(LDLR), occludin (OCLN), and scavenger receptor B1 (SCARB1) genes in AD patients were analyzed. No evidentcorrelation between receptor polymorphisms and presence of a particular virus variant was noted.

Conclusion: SNPs of HCV cell entry receptors have no influence on virus selection in patients infected with aninoculum containing different virus variants.


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