Evolution of hepatitis C viral quasispecies after liver transplantation

Andre C. Lyra, Xiaofeng Fan, Dorothy M. Lang, Karina Yusim, Sanjay Ramrakhiani, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Bette Korber, Alan S. Perelson, Adrian M. Di bisceglie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: To determine whether HCV quasispecies diversity correlated positively with liver disease progression after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Methods: We studied 11 patients undergoing OLT for HCV-related cirrhosis with recurrent hepatitis C in 2 groups according to the stage of hepatic fibrosis on follow-up. The mild group had stage 1 or 2 fibrosis; the severe group, stage 3 or 4 fibrosis. HCV quasispecies diversity was assessed by cloning and sequencing in pretransplantation and posttransplantation serum samples. Results: In the mild fibrosis group, intrasample hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) genetic distance and nonsynonymous substitutions increased after OLT, whereas in the severe fibrosis group, these parameters decreased in follow-up. In contrast, intrasample diversity progressed similarly in both groups in the adjacent sequences flanking HVR1. There was an inverse correlation between the stage of hepatic fibrosis and amino acid complexity after OLT. Among all patients, the estimated rate of amino acid change was greater initially and became more constant after 36 months. Conclusions: After OLT, a more complex HCV HVR1 quasispecies population was associated with mild disease recurrence. Among those patients with severe recurrent hepatitis C, HCV appeared to be under greater immune pressure. The greatest change in viral amino acid sequences occurred in the first 36 months after OLT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1493
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


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