Studying neutralizing antibodies is of critical importance in hepatitis C virus (HCV) research since no vaccine is available and hepatitis C related diseases still cause 400,000 deaths per year worldwide. The main obstacles for B-cell vaccine development are the high genetic diversity of HCV isolates as well as the conformational flexibility of the envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2.
In this webcast, the speaker will describe an innovative approach to reconstruct the virus neutralization space. In this work, IgGs sampled from HCV infected patients were used in combination with a partially novel set of 13 HCVcc cell culture strains to perform neutralization assays. The resulting data were plotted onto neutralization maps using metric multidimensional scaling and the viruses were clustered by k-means clustering to identify six neutralization clusters. These clusters differ from sequence-based clustering.
In summary, the advances in understanding the HCV neutralization space provide a basis for reliable neutralizing antibody studies in HCV patients and vaccine studies as well as for selection of E1E2 sequences that should be considered for vaccine design.
In this webinar, you will learn:
- What to consider when studying antibody responses to a highly diverse virus.
- How to perform reliable neutralization tests in HCV research.
- Are there genotype-specific antibody responses in HCV infected patients?