001) Similarly, 22 (71%) of 31 patients infected with HCV and ha

001). Similarly, 22 (71%) of 31 patients infected with HCV and having an ISDR with one or more mutations (ISDR ≥ 1) achieved a SVR while 10 (38%) of 26 patients infected with HCV and having an ISDR without any mutations (ISDR = 0) achieved a SVR (P= 0.014). As for the core region, there was significant correlation between a single mutation at position 70 (Gln70) and non-SVR (P= 0.02). Notably, Gln70 was more prominently check details associated with the null response (P= 0.0007). In conclusion, sequence heterogeneity within the IRRDR and ISDR, and a single point mutation at

position 70 of the core region of HCV-1b are likely to be correlated with virological responses to PEG-IFN/RBV therapy. Hepatitis see more C virus is a major cause of chronic liver diseases worldwide. Approximately 180 million people, ∼3% of the world’s population, are infected with HCV. Seventy percent of acute infections become persistent, and 50–75% of patients with chronic HCV infection progress to hepatocellular carcinoma (1–5). Therefore, HCV infection is a major global health problem. Although more than two decades have passed since the discovery of HCV, therapeutic options remain limited. Current standard treatment of chronic HCV infection consists of PEG-IFN and RBV, which leads to a SVR in approximately half of treated patients, especially

those infected with the most resistant genotypes, HCV-1a and HCV-1b (6, 7). Given the

considerable side effects and high cost of this treatment, which result in discontinuation of treatment by some patients, reliable prediction of treatment outcome is needed. An expanded range of predictors may assist clinicians and patients to more accurately assess the likelihood of an SVR and thus to make more reliably informed treatment decisions (8). Because the SVR rate to PEG-IFN/RBV therapy depends on viral genotypes, it is generally considered that HCV genetics affect the treatment response (9). In this context, NS5A has been 4-Aminobutyrate aminotransferase widely discussed because of its known correlation with IFN responsiveness. Initially, in the era of IFN monotherapy, it was proposed that sequence variations within a region in NS5A spanning from aa 2209 to 2248, called the ISDR, were correlated with IFN responsiveness (10). Subsequently, in the era of combination therapy with PEG-IFN/RBV, we identified a new region near the C-terminus of NS5A spanning from aa 2334 to 2379, which we referred to as the IRRDR (11). The degree of sequence variations within the IRRDR was significantly associated with the clinical outcome of PEG-IFN/RBV combination therapy. On the other hand, prediction of SVR by aa substitutions at positions 70 and 91 of the core protein in Japanese patients infected with HCV-1b has also been proposed (12–14).

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