Modelling Hepatitis C viral host interaction and co‐infection

Lissauer, Samantha Mary (2018). Modelling Hepatitis C viral host interaction and co‐infection. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a clinically important infection that leads to chronic liver disease and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) co-infected patients have more rapid progression to severe liver disease and show higher rates of HCV vertical transmission.

Hepatocytes are a highly differentiated cell type and support low level HCV replication. Most studies of the viral life cycle use de-differentiated hepatoma cell lines, which are highly permissive. The mechanism behind this difference is poorly understood. We show that dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) differentiated Huh-7 cells have a 100-fold reduction in permissivity to HCV infection. We confirm that these cells are differentiated and upregulate key liver specific markers including miR122. They are metabolically active and have intact innate signaling pathways in response to infection. We observed a 10-fold reduction in the initiation of replication and a 10-fold loss in extra-cellular particle infectivity. In contrast cell-to-cell dissemination rates were comparable and cell-contact dependent infection of differentiated cells can overcome the restrictions seen in cell-free infection.

HCV cell-to-cell transmission can also be mediated by other cell types. T cells are the primary cell supporting HIV-1 infection. We have shown that HCV can bind primary and immortalized T cells and trans-infect hepatoma cells. This requires replicating HIV but is independent of co-receptor engagement. HIV-1 infection of CD4+ T cells induces a significant increase in HCV trans-infection by increased viral binding. T cells provide a vehicle for HIV-1 to promote HCV infectivity, transmission and persistence.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology


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