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    ABSTRACT: Genetic recombination is an important evolutionary mechanism for RNA viruses. The significance of this phenomenon for hepatitis C virus (HCV) has recently become evident, with the identification of circulating recombinant forms in HCV-infected individuals and by novel data from studies permitted by advances in HCV cell culture systems and genotyping protocols. HCV is readily able to produce viable recombinants, using replicative and non-replicative molecular mechanisms. However, our knowledge of the required molecular mechanisms remains limited. Understanding how HCV recombines might be instrumental for a better monitoring of global epidemiology, to clarify the virus evolution, and evaluate the impact of recombinant forms on the efficacy of oncoming combination drug therapies. For the latter, frequency and location of recombination events could affect the efficacy of multidrug regimens. This review will focus on current data available on HCV recombination, also in relation to more detailed data from other RNA viruses.
    Trends in Microbiology 03/2014; · 8.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) implicated in poliomyelitis outbreaks in Madagascar have been shown to be recombinants between the type 2 poliovirus (PV) strain of the oral polio vaccine (Sabin 2) and another species C human enterovirus (HEV-C), such as type 17 coxsackie A virus (CA17) in particular. We studied intertypic genetic exchanges between PV and non-PV HEV-C by developing a recombination model, making it possible to rescue defective type 2 PV RNA genomes with a short deletion at the 3' end by the cotransfection of cells with defective or infectious CA17 RNAs. We isolated over 200 different PV/CA17 recombinants, using murine cells expressing the human PV receptor (PVR) and selecting viruses with PV capsids. We found some homologous (H) recombinants and, mostly, nonhomologous (NH) recombinants presenting duplications of parental sequences preferentially located in the regions encoding proteins 2A, 2B, and 3A. Short duplications appeared to be stable, whereas longer duplications were excised during passaging in cultured cells or after multiplication in PVR-transgenic mice, generating H recombinants with diverse sites of recombination. This suggests that NH recombination events may be a transient, intermediate step in the generation and selection of the fittest H recombinants. In addition to the classical copy-choice mechanism of recombination thought to generate mostly H recombinants, there may also be a modular mechanism of recombination, involving NH recombinant precursors, shaping the genomes of recombinant enteroviruses and other picornaviruses.
    mBio 01/2014; 5(4). · 5.62 Impact Factor

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May 21, 2014