Aldunate F, Echeverría N, Chiodi D, López P, Sánchez-Cicerón A, Fajardo A, Soñora M, Cristina J, Hernández N, Moreno P
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection treatment has dramatically changed with the advent of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs). However, the efficacy of DAAs can be attenuated by the presence of resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) before and after treatment. Indeed, RASs detected in DAA treatment-naïve HCV-infected patients could be useful for clinical management and outcome prediction. Although the frequency of naturally occurring HCV NS5A and NS5B RASs has been addressed in many countries, there are only a few reports on their prevalence in the South American region. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of RASs to NS5A and NS5B inhibitors in a DAA treatment naïve cohort of Uruguayan patients infected with chronic hepatitis C and compare them with reports from other South American countries. Here, we found that naturally occurring substitutions conferring resistance to NS5A and NS5B inhibitors were present in 8% and 19.2%, respectively, of treatment-naïve HCV genotype 1 infected patients. Importantly, the baseline substitutions in NS5A and NS5B herein identified differ from the studies previously reported in Brazil. Furthermore, Uruguayan strains subtype 1a clustered within all major world clades, showing that HCV variants currently circulating in this country are characterized by a remarkable genetic diversity.