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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 1;10(4):e0122082. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122082. eCollection 2015.

HCV genotyping from NGS short reads and its application in genotype detection from HCV mixed infected plasma.

Author information

1
Molecular Biomarker and Diagnostics, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey, United States of America.
2
Target & Pathway Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
3
Infectious Diseases and Clinical Virology, Merck Research Laboratories, Kenilworth, New Jersey, United States of America.

Abstract

Genotyping of hepatitis C virus (HCV) plays an important role in the treatment of HCV. As new genotype-specific treatment options become available, it has become increasingly important to have accurate HCV genotype and subtype information to ensure that the most appropriate treatment regimen is selected. Most current genotyping methods are unable to detect mixed genotypes from two or more HCV infections. Next generation sequencing (NGS) allows for rapid and low cost mass sequencing of viral genomes and provides an opportunity to probe the viral population from a single host. In this paper, the possibility of using short NGS reads for direct HCV genotyping without genome assembly was evaluated. We surveyed the publicly-available genetic content of three HCV drug target regions (NS3, NS5A, NS5B) in terms of whether these genes contained genotype-specific regions that could predict genotype. Six genotypes and 38 subtypes were included in this study. An automated phylogenetic analysis based HCV genotyping method was implemented and used to assess different HCV target gene regions. Candidate regions of 250-bp each were found for all three genes that have enough genetic information to predict HCV genotypes/subtypes. Validation using public datasets shows 100% genotyping accuracy. To test whether these 250-bp regions were sufficient to identify mixed genotypes, we developed a random primer-based method to sequence HCV plasma samples containing mixtures of two HCV genotypes in different ratios. We were able to determine the genotypes without ambiguity and to quantify the ratio of the abundances of the mixed genotypes in the samples. These data provide a proof-of-concept that this random primed, NGS-based short-read genotyping approach does not need prior information about the viral population and is capable of detecting mixed viral infection.

PMID:
25830316
PMCID:
PMC4382110
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0122082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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