Identification of 19 Novel Hepatitis C Virus Subtypes—Further Expanding HCV Classification Academic Article uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is currently classified into 8 genotypes and 86 subtypes. The objective of this study was to characterize novel HCV subtypes and to investigate the impact of subtypes on treatment outcome. Methods Full-genome sequencing was performed on HCV plasma samples with <85% sequence homology of NS3, NS5A, and/or NS5B to HCV genotype (GT) 1–8 reference strains. Results A total of 14 653 patients with GT1–6 HCV infection were enrolled in clinical studies of sofosbuvir-based regimens. For the majority of the patients, a specific subtype could be assigned based on a close genetic relationship to previously described subtypes. However, for 19 patients, novel subtypes were identified with <85% homology compared with previously described subtypes. These novel subtypes had the following genotypes: 9 in GT2, 5 in GT4, 2 in GT6, and 1 each in GT1, GT3, and GT5. Despite the presence of polymorphisms at resistance-associated substitution positions, 18 of the 19 patients treated with sofosbuvir-containing therapy achieved SVR12. Conclusions Nineteen novel HCV subtypes were identified, suggesting an even greater genetic diversity of HCV subtypes than previously recognized.


  • Hedskog, Charlotte
  • Parhy, Bandita
  • Chang, Silvia
  • Zeuzem, Stefan
  • Moreno, Christophe
  • Shafran, Stephen D
  • Borgia, Sergio
  • Asselah, Tarik
  • Alric, Laurent
  • Abergel, Armand
  • Chen, Jyh-Jou
  • Collier, Jane
  • Kapoor, Dharmesh
  • Hyland, Robert H
  • Simmonds, Peter
  • Mo, Hongmei
  • Svarovskaia, Evguenia S

publication date

  • March 1, 2019