The European prevalence of resistance associated substitutions among direct acting antiviral failures

Stephanie Popping*, Valeria Cento, Carole Seguin-Devaux, Charles A.B. Boucher, Adolfo de Salazar, Eva Heger, Orna Mor, Murat Sayan, Dominique Salmon-Ceron, Nina Weis, Henrik B. Krarup, Robert J. de Knegt, Oana Săndulescu, Vladimir Chulanov, David A.M.C. van de Vijver, Federico García, Francesca Ceccherini-Silberstein, on behalf of the HepCare as Part of the European Society for Translational Antiviral Research (ESAR)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Approximately 71 million people are still in need of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs). To achieve the World Health Organization Hepatitis C elimination goals, insight into the prevalence and influence of resistance associated substitutions (RAS) is of importance. Collaboration is key since DAA failure is rare and real-life data are scattered. We have established a European collaboration, HepCare, to perform in-depth analysis regarding RAS prevalence, patterns, and multiclass occurrence. Methods: Data were extracted from the HepCare cohort of patients who previously failed DAA therapy. Geno—and subtypes were provided by submitters and mostly based on in-house assays. They were reassessed using the Comet HCV subtyping tool. We considered RAS to be relevant if they were associated with DAA failure in vivo previously reported in literature. Results: We analyzed 938 patients who failed DAA therapy from ten different European countries. There were 239 genotypes (GT) 1a, 380 GT1b, 19 GT2c, 205 GT3a, 14 GT4a, and 68 GT4d infections. Several unusual subtypes (n = 15) (GT1b/g/l, GT3b, GT4k/n/r/t) were present. RAS appeared in over 80% of failures and over a quarter had three or more RAS. Multiclass RAS varied over target region and genotype between 0–48%. RAS patterns such as the Q30R + L31M and Q30R + Y93H in GT1a, the L31V + Y93H and L31V + Y93H for GT1b, and A30K + L31M and A30K/V + Y93H for GT3a all occurred with a prevalence below 5%. Conclusion: RAS occur frequently after DAA failures and follow a specific genotype and drug related pattern. Interpretation of the influence of RAS on retreatment is challenging due to various patterns, patients’ characteristics, and previous treatment history. Moving towards HCV elimination, an ongoing resistance surveillance is essential to track the presence of RAS, RAS patterns and gather data for a re-treatment algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Direct-acting antivirals
  • Elimination
  • Hepatitis C
  • Resistance
  • Resistance associated substitutions


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