Several studies reported hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission networks among men having sex with men (MSM) in Europe and the spread of HCV strains from HIV–HCV coinfected toward HCV monoinfected MSM. We aimed to investigate HCV transmission dynamics among HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM by ultradeep sequencing (UDS).
NS5B fragment (388 bp) was sequenced from virus of 50 HIV-positive and 18 HIV-negative patients diagnosed with recent HCV infection. UDS data were analyzed by Geneious (version 10.3.2). Phylogenetic trees were constructed by FastTree (version 2.1) and submitted to ClusterPicker (version 1.2.3) for transmission chain detection at different thresholds of maximum genetic distance (MGD) (3% for Sanger, 3% and 4.5% for UDS).
Ten, 17, and 18 HCV transmission chains were identified by Sanger at 3%, UDS at 3% and at 4.5% of MGD, respectively. Of 68 subjects enrolled, 38 (55.9%), 38 (55.9%), and 43 (65.3%) individuals were involved in transmission networks found by Sanger at 3%, UDS at 3%, and at 4.5% of MGD, respectively. Mixed transmission chains including HIV-positive and HIV-negative subjects were detected for 8/10 chains by Sanger at 3%, for 9/17 by UDS at 3%, and for 10/18 by UDS at 4.5% of MGD. Overall, the number of HIV-negative individuals clustering with HIV-positive ones was 9/18 by Sanger, 9/18 by UDS at 3%, and 10/18 by UDS at 4.5% of MGD.
HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM shared HCV transmission networks, which emphasizes the need for HCV surveillance and prevention measures in these communities regardless of the HIV status.
aSorbonne Université, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis D'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (iPLESP), AP-HP, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Laboratoire de virologie, Paris, France;
bAP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Laboratoire de virologie, Paris, France;
cINSERM UMR 941, Université de Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France;
dSorbonne Université, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis D'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (iPLESP), AP-HP, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Services de Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Paris, France;
eSorbonne Université, Centre D'Immunologie et de Maladies Infectieuses (CIMI) UMRS CR7, Persistent Viral Infection (PVI) Team, Inserm U1135, APHP, Groupe Hospitalier Paris Est, Hôpital Tenon, Laboratoire de virologie, Paris, France;
fINSERM SC10, Villejuif, France;
gCentre de Santé Sexuelle Le 190, Paris, France;
hDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Sorbonne Université, APHP, Hôpital Tenon, Paris, France;
iDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Sorbonne Université, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis D'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (iPLESP), AP-HP, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, France;
jCerballiance Laboratory, Paris, France; and
kDepartment of Infectious Diseases, AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France.
Correspondence to: Thuy Nguyen, MD, PhD, Service de virologie, Bât CERVI, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 83 Bd de L'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Supported by the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA et les hépatites virales (ANRS) (decision number 2018-139).
Presented in part at the International AIDS Conference; July 26, 2018; Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Abstract THAB0203, oral presentation).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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Received December 18, 2018
Accepted April 01, 2019