We have analyzed three cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected recipients who received blood from HCV-infected donors. Two recipients were exposed to two different HCW RNA-positive donors, and one was exposed to a single donor. All parental genomes from the actual infecting units of blood and the recipients were defined, and their presence in the follow-up serum samples was determined using sensitive strain-specific assays. The strain from one of the donors was found to predominate in all recipients' serum samples collected throughout the follow-up period of 10 to 30 months. In two recipients exposed to two infected donors, the strain from the second donor was occasionally found at very low level. However, the original recipients' strains were not detected. Our observations show that HCV-infected individuals can be superinfected with different strains, and this event may lead to eradication or suppression of the original infecting strain. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that simultaneous exposure to multiple HCV strains may result in concomitant infection by more than one strain, although a single strain could rapidly establish its dominance. The results of the present study suggest the existence of competition among infecting HCV strains which determines the ultimate outcome of multiple HCV exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science