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Open Access Short report

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

Maren Lipskoch1, Manfred Wiese2, Joerg Timm1, Michael Roggendorf1 and Sergei Viazov1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Virology, Essen University Hospital, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

2 Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Klinik für Gastroenterologie und Rheumatologie, Sektion Hepatologie, Liebigstr. 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:50  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-50

Published: 14 March 2014

Abstract

Background

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

Findings

Anti-D globulin preparations contaminated with the HCV strain AD78 caused hepatitis C infection in more than 3000 women in East Germany in 1978. Analysis of the core to NS2 gene sequences of this strain in several 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 a particular virus variant in each patient. To verify the hypothesis that heterogeneity of HCV cell receptors might influence 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 evident correlation 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 an inoculum containing different virus variants.

Keywords:
HCV AD78; HCV cell receptor polymorphism; LDLR; OCLN; SCARB1