HCV Gene Mutations Present New Challenges for Vaccine Development

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known to mutate to avoid recognition by antibodies, neutralizing molecules of the host’s immune system. Surprisingly, researchers found that these mutations can occur in genes unrelated to the antibody binding site in the virus. The results are based on 113 HCV strains from 27 patients, and were reported in a study titled “Extra-epitopic hepatitis C virus polymorphisms confer resistance to broadly neutralizing antibodies by