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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versão impressa ISSN 0074-0276


PERES-DA-SILVA, Allan; ALMEIDA, Adilson José de  e  LAMPE, Elisabeth. Genetic diversity of NS3 protease from Brazilian HCV isolates and possible implications for therapy with direct-acting antiviral drugs. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2012, vol.107, n.2, pp.254-261. ISSN 0074-0276.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 protease has been one of the molecular targets of new therapeutic approaches. Its genomic sequence variability in Brazilian HCV isolates is poorly documented. To obtain more information on the magnitude of its genetic diversity, 114 Brazilian HCV samples were sequenced and analysed together with global reference sequences. Genetic distance (d) analyses revealed that subtype 1b had a higher degree of heterogeneity (d = 0.098) than subtypes 1a (d = 0.060) and 3a (d = 0.062). Brazilian isolates of subtype 1b were distributed in the phylogenetic tree among sequences from other countries, whereas most subtype 1a and 3a sequences clustered into a single branch. Additional characterisation of subtype 1a in clades 1 and 2 revealed that all but two Brazilian subtype 1a sequences formed a distinct and strongly supported (approximate likelihood-ratio test = 93) group of sequences inside clade 1. Moreover, this subcluster inside clade 1 presented an unusual phenotypic characteristic in relation to the presence of resistance mutations for macrocyclic inhibitors. In particular, the mutation Q80K was found in the majority of clade 1 sequences, but not in the Brazilian isolates. These data demonstrate that Brazilian HCV subtypes display a distinct pattern of genetic diversity and reinforce the importance of sequence information in future therapeutic approaches.

Palavras-chave : genetic diversity; NS3 protease; hepatitis C virus; direct-acting antiviral agents.

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