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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

AGBT Virtual Poster: Genome variation in chronic viral infection – SMRT Sequencing for HCV

Ellen Paxinos, a scientist at PacBio, shares her AGBT poster on work done in collaboration with reference lab Monogram Biosciences using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing to detect minor species and variants in HCV. Using two genotypes mixed together, the team was able to detect variants down to 1% and to identify both viral haplotypes from the data. Paxinos says the study is a model for looking at genomic variation in chronic viral infection.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Targeting New Sites of Vulnerability in Hepatitis C Virus E1E2.

Increasing evidence indicates that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play an important role in immune-mediated control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the relative contribution of neutralizing antibodies targeting antigenic sites across the HCV envelope (E1 and E2) proteins is unclear. Here, we isolated thirteen E1E2-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from B cells of a single HCV-infected individual who cleared one genotype 1a infection and then became persistently infected with a second genotype 1a strain. These MAbs bound six distinct discontinuous antigenic sites on the E1 protein, the E2 protein, or the E1E2 heterodimer. Three antigenic sites, designated AS108, AS112 (an…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing comes of age: applications and utilities for medical diagnostics.

Short read massive parallel sequencing has emerged as a standard diagnostic tool in the medical setting. However, short read technologies have inherent limitations such as GC bias, difficulties mapping to repetitive elements, trouble discriminating paralogous sequences, and difficulties in phasing alleles. Long read single molecule sequencers resolve these obstacles. Moreover, they offer higher consensus accuracies and can detect epigenetic modifications from native DNA. The first commercially available long read single molecule platform was the RS system based on PacBio’s single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology, which has since evolved into their RSII and Sequel systems. Here we capsulize how SMRT…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

A method for near full-length amplification and sequencing for six hepatitis C virus genotypes.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a rapidly evolving RNA virus that has been classified into seven genotypes. All HCV genotypes cause chronic hepatitis, which ultimately leads to liver diseases such as cirrhosis. The genotypes are unevenly distributed across the globe, with genotypes 1 and 3 being the most prevalent. Until recently, molecular epidemiological studies of HCV evolution within the host and at the population level have been limited to the analyses of partial viral genome segments, as it has been technically challenging to amplify and sequence the full-length of the 9.6 kb HCV genome. Although recent improvements have been made in…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Characterization of hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope diversification from acute to chronic infection within a sexually transmitted HCV cluster by using single-molecule, real-time sequencing.

In contrast to other available next-generation sequencing platforms, PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing has the advantage of generating long reads albeit with a relatively higher error rate in unprocessed data. Using this platform, we longitudinally sampled and sequenced the hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope genome region (1,680 nucleotides [nt]) from individuals belonging to a cluster of sexually transmitted cases. All five subjects were coinfected with HIV-1 and a closely related strain of HCV genotype 4d. In total, 50 samples were analyzed by using SMRT sequencing. By using 7 passes of circular consensus sequencing, the error rate was reduced to 0.37%,…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Evolution of multi-drug resistant HCV clones from pre-existing resistant-associated variants during direct-acting antiviral therapy determined by third-generation sequencing.

Resistance-associated variant (RAV) is one of the most significant clinical challenges in treating HCV-infected patients with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). We investigated the viral dynamics in patients receiving DAAs using third-generation sequencing technology. Among 283 patients with genotype-1b HCV receiving daclatasvir?+?asunaprevir (DCV/ASV), 32 (11.3%) failed to achieve sustained virological response (SVR). Conventional ultra-deep sequencing of HCV genome was performed in 104 patients (32 non-SVR, 72 SVR), and detected representative RAVs in all non-SVR patients at baseline, including Y93H in 28 (87.5%). Long contiguous sequences spanning NS3 to NS5A regions of each viral clone in 12 sera from 6 representative non-SVR patients…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Deep sequencing in the management of hepatitis virus infections.

The hepatitis viruses represent a major public health problem worldwide. Procedures for characterization of the genomic composition of their populations, accurate diagnosis, identification of multiple infections, and information on inhibitor-escape mutants for treatment decisions are needed. Deep sequencing methodologies are extremely useful for these viruses since they replicate as complex and dynamic quasispecies swarms whose complexity and mutant composition are biologically relevant traits. Population complexity is a major challenge for disease prevention and control, but also an opportunity to distinguish among related but phenotypically distinct variants that might anticipate disease progression and treatment outcome. Detailed characterization of mutant spectra should…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Characterization of miR-122-independent propagation of HCV.

miR-122, a liver-specific microRNA, is one of the determinants for liver tropism of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Although miR-122 is required for efficient propagation of HCV, we have previously shown that HCV replicates at a low rate in miR-122-deficient cells, suggesting that HCV-RNA is capable of propagating in an miR-122-independent manner. We herein investigated the roles of miR-122 in both the replication of HCV-RNA and the production of infectious particles by using miR-122-knockout Huh7 (Huh7-122KO) cells. A slight increase of intracellular HCV-RNA levels and infectious titers in the culture supernatants was observed in Huh7-122KO cells upon infection with HCV.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Analysis of hepatitis C NS5A resistance associated polymorphisms using ultra deep single molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing.

Development of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) resistance against direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), including NS5A inhibitors, is an obstacle to successful treatment of HCV when DAAs are used in sub-optimal combinations. Furthermore, it has been shown that baseline (pre-existing) resistance against DAAs is present in treatment naïve-patients and this will potentially complicate future treatment strategies in different HCV genotypes (GTs). Thus the aim was to detect low levels of NS5A resistant associated variants (RAVs) in a limited sample set of treatment-naïve patients of HCV GT1a and 3a, since such polymorphisms can display in vitro resistance as high as 60000 fold. Ultra-deep single molecule…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Next-generation sequencing: a diagnostic one-stop shop for Hepatitis C?

Before starting chronic hepatitis C treatment, the viral genotype/subtype has to be accurately determined and potentially coupled with drug resistance testing. Due to the high genetic variability of the hepatitis C virus, this can be a demanding task that can potentially be streamlined by viral whole-genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing as demonstrated by an article in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology by E. Thomson, C. L. C. Ip, A. Badhan, M. T. Christiansen, W. Adamson, et al. (J Clin Microbiol. 54:2455-2469, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00330-16). Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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