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J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Sep;51(9):2862-8. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01129-13. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Prediction of treatment efficacy and telaprevir-resistant variants after triple therapy in patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1.

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Department of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, and Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan.


It is often difficult to predict the response to telaprevir-pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN)-ribavirin triple therapy and the appearance of telaprevir-resistant variants. The present study determined the predictive factors of a sustained virological response (SVR) to 12- or 24-week triple therapy (T12PR12 or T12PR24, respectively) in 194 Japanese patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b (HCV-1b). The study also evaluated whether ultradeep sequencing technology can predict at baseline the emergence of resistant variants after the start of therapy. Analysis of the data of the entire group indicated that an SVR was achieved in 78% of the patients. Multivariate analysis identified IL28B rs8099917 (genotype TT), the substitution of amino acid (aa) 70 (Arg70), response to prior treatment (naive or relapse), PEG-IFN dose (≥ 1.3 μg/kg of body weight), and treatment regimen (T12PR24) as significant determinants of SVR. Among patients of the T12PR24 group, 92% with genotype TT achieved an SVR, irrespective of a substitution at aa 70. In patients with the non-TT genotype, an SVR was achieved in 76% of those with Arg70, while only 14% of patients with the non-TT genotype, Gln70(His70), and nonresponse to ribavirin combination therapy achieved an SVR. Ultradeep sequencing was conducted for 17 patients who did not achieve an SVR to determine the emergence of resistant variants during therapy. De novo resistant variants were detected in 16 of 17 patients (94%), regardless of the variant frequencies detected at baseline. In conclusion, the results indicate that the response to triple therapy can be predicted by the combination of host, viral, and treatment factors and that it is difficult to predict at baseline the telaprevir-resistant variants that emerge during triple therapy, even with the use of ultradeep sequencing.

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