Eliminating hepatitis C within low-income countries – The need to cure genotypes 4, 5, 6
Around 70 to 100 million people are chronically infected with HCV worldwide. HCV antiviral drug development has revolutionised the treatment of HCV, with several direct-acting antiviral agents offering patients the chance of cure after only 8–12 weeks of treatment. Drug development was initially focussed on HCV genotype 1 (GT1) infection, since this was the most prevalent worldwide, although clinical trials included all genotypes prevalent in the US and Europe. Because the earliest in vitro assays utilised the GT1b and 2 replicons, the initial classes of direct-acting antivirals (protease inhibitors, non-nucleotide polymerase inhibitors) were GT1-specific, albeit they had an effect on other less prevalent genotypes. Epidemiological data has shown the regional importance of other HCV genotypes. More than 50% of all HCV infections around the globe are not with GT1. The prevalence of HCV genotype 4 (GT4), 5 (GT5), and 6 (GT6) is increasing in North America and Europe due to migration from the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia. With the successful development of the multi and pan-genotypic non-structural protein 5A inhibitors, second generation protease inhibitors and nucleotide non-structural protein 5B inhibitors comes a unique opportunity to achieve global HCV elimination. The goal of this review is to summarise the available information pertaining to GT4, GT5 and GT6, with a specific focus on direct-acting antiviral agents.