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 permit choosing better treatment options, given the increasing number of new antiviral inhibitors available. In the present review we briefly summarize our experience on the use of deep sequencing for the management of hepatitis virus infections, particularly for hepatitis B and C viruses, and outline some possible new applications of deep sequencing for these important human pathogens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal: Virus research