Quasispecies Fitness Partition to Characterize the Molecular Status of a Viral Population. Negative Effect of Early Ribavirin Discontinuation in a Chronically Infected HEV Patient

J. Gregori, S. Colomer-Castell, C. Campos, M. Ibañez-Lligoña, D. Garcia-Cehic, A. Rando-Segura, C.M. Adombie, R. Pintó, S. Guix, A. Bosch, E. Domingo, I. Gallego, C. Perales, M.F. Cortese, D. Tabernero, M. Buti, M. Riveiro-Barciela, J.I. Esteban, F. Rodriguez-Frias, J. Quer

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The changes occurring in viral quasispecies populations during infection have been monitored using diversity indices, nucleotide diversity, and several other indices to summarize the quasispecies structure in a single value. In this study, we present a method to partition quasispecies haplotypes into four fractions according to their fitness: the master haplotype, rare haplotypes at two levels (those present at 1%, but less than that of the master haplotype. We propose that by determining the changes occurring in the volume of the four quasispecies fitness fractions together with those of the Hill number profile we will be able to visualize and analyze the molecular changes in the composition of a quasispecies with time. To develop this concept, we used three data sets: a technical clone of the complete SARS-CoV-2 spike gene, a subset of data previously used in a study of rare haplotypes, and data from a clinical follow-up study of a patient chronically infected with HEV and treated with ribavirin. The viral response to ribavirin mutagenic treatment was selection of a rich set of synonymous haplotypes. The mutation spectrum was very complex at the nucleotide level, but at the protein (phenotypic/functional) level the pattern differed, showing a highly prevalent master phenotype. We discuss the putative implications of this observation in relation to mutagenic antiviral treatment.
Idioma originalSpanish
Nombre de pàgines17
RevistaInternational journal of molecular sciences
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 24 de nov. 2022


  • Quasispecies
  • Deep-sequencing
  • Variability
  • Rare haplotypes
  • Fitness
  • Mutagens

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