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Title: Molecular and immunological study of genotype 2 Hepatitis C virus infection in chronically infected and recovered blood donors
Author: Chuang, W. C.-M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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Recovery from Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is considered infrequent (<20%) in Western populations but reaches 50% in West Africa where genotype 2 infection is predominant. The first objective of this project was to investigate the role of cellular response and host genetics involved in this phenomenon. Plasma samples from 104 Ghanaian blood donors reactive with anti-HCV assays were collected. 81% of subjects with chronic infection carried genotype 2 HVC. Cellular immune responses were studied in frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from 35 cases. HLA-A, -B and –DR types were determined. HLA-B*57 was significantly more frequent in the group recovered from infection compared with chronically infected donors (p = 0.0053). The dominance of genotype 2 HCV strains and high frequency of HLAA-B*57 may be important factors explaining the high rate of recovery from HCV infection in Ghana. The second objective of this project was to assess the antigenicity of the recombinant genotype 2 F protein in donors with either chronic infection or recovery identified previously. Purified F and core proteins were used to develop immunoassays to detect anti-F and anti-core in titrated plasma samples. The level of HCV antibodies was also titrated using a commercial anti-HCV kit. The results showed that the reactivity of F protein was significantly higher (p <0.001) in donors with chronic infection than recovered infection regardless of genotype. The same difference was observed with anti-core and anti-HCV. This strongly suggested that F protein exists in natural HCV infection. It also showed that antibodies to F protein were not genotype-specific as genotype 2 F protein was recognised by plasma from genotype 1 and 3-infected individuals. Anti-F antibody titre was estimated here for the first time in comparison with anti-core and anti-HCV antibodies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available