1887

Abstract

This paper describes the study of hepatitis C virus (HCV) evolution in the largest cohort of HCV-infected blood donors (BDs)/blood recipients (BRs) reported to date (25 pairs). A molecular analysis of partial sequences in the E1 (envelope) and NS5-B (polymerase) genes was performed. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the evolution of dominant strains was qualitatively and quantitatively different in BDs and BRs. The evolutionary rate was significantly higher in BRs, in which, in addition, most substitutions observed were antonymous. These findings corroborate the hypothesis that a large part of virus evolution – which was evaluated to be equivalent to ∼20 years of chronic evolution – is acquired during the early phase of infection. These findings should be taken into account for the modelling of the long-term evolution of HCV and their possible contribution to improve our understanding of HCV natural history is discussed.

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/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/vir.0.18642-0
2003-02-01
2019-12-08
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