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Increasing importance of European lineages in seeding the hepatitis C virus subtype 1a epidemic in Spain

Autores: Perez, A. B.; Vrancken, B.; Chueca, N.; Aguilera, A.; Reina González, Gabriel; García-del Toro, M.; Vera, F.; Von Wichman, M. A.; Arenas, J. I.; Téllez, F.; Pineda, J. A.; Omar, M.; Bernal, E.; Rivero-Juárez, A.; Fernández-Fuertes, E.; De la Iglesia, A.; Pascasio, J. M.; Lemey, P.; García, F. (Autor de correspondencia); Cuypers, L.
Título de la revista: EUROSURVEILLANCE
ISSN: 1560-7917
Volumen: 24
Número: 9
Páginas: 1800227
Fecha de publicación: 2019
Epidemiological links between HCV1a viruses from a convenience sample of 283 patients in Spain, mostly PWID, collected between 2014 and 2016, and 1,317, 1,291 and 1,009 samples collected abroad between 1989 and 2016 were reconstructed using sequences covering the NS3, NS5A and NS5B genes. To efficiently do so, fast maximum likelihood-based tree estimation was coupled to a flexible Bayesian discrete phylogeographic inference method. The transmission network structure of the Spanish HCV1a epidemic was shaped by continuous seeding of HCV1a into Spain, almost exclusively from North America and European countries. The latter became increasingly relevant and have dominated in recent times. Export from Spain to other countries in Europe was also strongly supported, although Spain was a net sink for European HCV1a lineages. Spatial reconstructions showed that the epidemic in Spain is diffuse, without large, dominant within-country networks. Conclusion: To boost the effectiveness of local intervention efforts, concerted supra-national strategies to control HCV1a transmission are needed, with a strong focus on the most important drivers of ongoing transmission, i.e. PWID and other high-risk populations.