Tuesday, 29 November 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Level 6, Seminar Room Wallace Wurth Building UNSW Australia Sydney NSW 2052
Contact for inquiries:
Rata Joseph, +61 (0)2 9385 0900 or email@example.com
The Kirby Institute is pleased to present:
Ms Sofia Bartlett – Postgraduate Research Candidate – Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute
“Modelling the Effects of Targeted DAA Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Strategies Using a Molecular Transmission Network of People with Recent Infection.”
Combining phylogenetic and network methodologies has the potential to better inform targeted interventions to prevent and treat infectious diseases. This study reconstructed a molecular transmission network for people with recent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and modelled the impact of targeting directly acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for HCV in the network.
Participants were selected from three Australian studies of recent HCV from 2004 to 2014. HCV sequence data (Core-E2) from participants at the time of recent HCV detection were analysed to infer a network by connecting pairs of sequences whose divergence was ≤.03 substitutions/site. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with connectivity and the impact of targeting HCV DAAs at both HIV co-infected and random nodes was simulated. Among 236 participants, 21% (n=49) were connected in the network. HCV/HIV co-infected participants (47%) were more likely to be connected compared to HCV mono-infected participants (16%) (OR 4.56; 95% CI; 2.13-9.74). Simulations targeting DAA HCV treatment to HCV/HIV co-infected individuals prevented 2.5 times more onward infections than providing DAAs to randomly selected individuals.
Results demonstrate that genetic distance-based network analyses can be used to identify characteristics associated with HCV transmission, informing targeted prevention and treatment strategies.
Sofia is a molecular biologist undertaking doctoral studies at the Kirby Institute. Her project is a multidisciplinary study utilising molecular biology laboratory techniques, phylogenetics and epidemiology to study the transmission of recently acquired Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Australia. Her research interests include phylogenetics, molecular virology, infectious disease epidemiology and the health of marginalised populations. Sofia has a particular interest in how basic science can be used to inform public health policy and hopes her research can help lead to the elimination of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C virus.