In Vitro Neutralization Assay Using Cultured Hepatitis C Virus

  • Jannick Prentoe
  • Jens BukhEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1911)


The method outlined here enables evaluation of the neutralization potency of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against in vitro cultured hepatitis C virus (HCV). The high variation in envelope protein sequence among HCV isolates necessitates the inclusion of several isolates, spanning the major genotypes of HCV, in order to make strong conclusions concerning the cross-reactive neutralization potential of a given antibody. This would be particularly relevant for any neutralization experiments aimed at uncovering novel therapeutic- or vaccine-relevant antibodies. In addition, these assays can also be used to compare neutralization sensitivity of novel cultured HCV to that of previously characterized isolates.

Key words

Hepatitis C virus HCV Neutralization Antibodies Immunostaining Vaccine 


  1. 1.
    Lindenbach BD, Evans MJ, Syder AJ, Wolk B, Tellinghuisen TL, Liu CC et al (2005) Complete replication of hepatitis C virus in cell culture. Science 309:623–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wakita T, Pietschmann T, Kato T, Date T, Miyamoto M, Zhao Z et al (2005) Production of infectious hepatitis C virus in tissue culture from a cloned viral genome. Nat Med 11:791–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gottwein JM, Scheel TK, Hoegh AM, Lademann JB, Eugen-Olsen J, Lisby G et al (2007) Robust hepatitis C genotype 3a cell culture releasing adapted intergenotypic 3a/2a (S52/JFH1) viruses. Gastroenterology 133:1614–1626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jensen TB, Gottwein JM, Scheel TK, Hoegh AM, Eugen-Olsen J, Bukh J (2008) Highly efficient JFH1-based cell-culture system for hepatitis C virus genotype 5a: failure of homologous neutralizing-antibody treatment to control infection. J Infect Dis 198:1756–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Scheel TK, Gottwein JM, Jensen TB, Prentoe JC, Hoegh AM, Alter HJ et al (2008) Development of JFH1-based cell culture systems for hepatitis C virus genotype 4a and evidence for cross-genotype neutralization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:997–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gottwein JM, Scheel TK, Jensen TB, Lademann JB, Prentoe JC, Knudsen ML et al (2009) Development and characterization of hepatitis C virus genotype 1-7 cell culture systems: role of CD81 and scavenger receptor class B type I and effect of antiviral drugs. Hepatology 49:364–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carlsen TH, Pedersen J, Prentoe JC, Giang E, Keck ZY, Mikkelsen LS et al (2014) Breadth of neutralization and synergy of clinically relevant human monoclonal antibodies against HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, and 3a. Hepatology 60:1551–1562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Scheel TK, Gottwein JM, Carlsen TH, Li YP, Jensen TB, Spengler U et al (2011) Efficient culture adaptation of hepatitis C virus recombinants with genotype-specific core-NS2 by using previously identified mutations. J Virol 85:2891–2906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pedersen J, Carlsen TH, Prentoe J, Ramirez S, Jensen TB, Forns X et al (2013) Neutralization resistance of hepatitis C virus can be overcome by recombinant human monoclonal antibodies. Hepatology 58:1587–1597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prentoe J, Verhoye L, Velazquez Moctezuma R, Buysschaert C, Farhoudi A, Wang R et al (2016) HVR1-mediated antibody evasion of highly infectious in vivo adapted HCV in humanised mice. Gut 65:1988–1997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sabo MC, Luca VC, Prentoe J, Hopcraft SE, Blight KJ, Yi M et al (2011) Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against hepatitis C virus E2 protein bind discontinuous epitopes and inhibit infection at a postattachment step. J Virol 85:7005–7019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Giang E, Dorner M, Prentoe JC, Dreux M, Evans MJ, Bukh J et al (2012) Human broadly neutralizing antibodies to the envelope glycoprotein complex of hepatitis C virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:6205–6210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Keck ZY, Xia J, Wang Y, Wang W, Krey T, Prentoe J et al (2012) Human monoclonal antibodies to a novel cluster of conformational epitopes on HCV E2 with resistance to neutralization escape in a genotype 2a isolate. PLoS Pathog 8:e1002653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Keck Z, Wang W, Wang Y, Lau P, Carlsen TH, Prentoe J et al (2013) Cooperativity in virus neutralization by human monoclonal antibodies to two adjacent regions located at the amino terminus of hepatitis C virus E2 glycoprotein. J Virol 87:37–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Prentoe J, Jensen TB, Meuleman P, Serre SB, Scheel TK, Leroux-Roels G et al (2011) Hypervariable region 1 differentially impacts viability of hepatitis C virus strains of genotypes 1 to 6 and impairs virus neutralization. J Virol 85:2224–2234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Prentoe J, Velazquez-Moctezuma R, Foung SK, Law M, Bukh J (2016) Hypervariable region 1 shielding of hepatitis C virus is a main contributor to genotypic differences in neutralization sensitivity. Hepatology 64:1881–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gottwein JM, Jensen TB, Mathiesen CK, Meuleman P, Serre SB, Lademann JB et al (2011) Development and application of hepatitis C reporter viruses with genotype 1 to 7 core-nonstructural protein 2 (NS2) expressing fluorescent proteins or luciferase in modified JFH1 NS5A. J Virol 85:8913–8928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gottwein JM, Scheel TK, Callendret B, Li YP, Eccleston HB, Engle RE et al (2010) Novel infectious cDNA clones of hepatitis C virus genotype 3a (strain S52) and 4a (strain ED43): genetic analyses and in vivo pathogenesis studies. J Virol 84:5277–5293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Prentoe J, Bukh J (2011) Hepatitis C virus expressing flag-tagged envelope protein 2 has unaltered infectivity and density, is specifically neutralized by flag antibodies and can be purified by affinity chromatography. Virology 409:148–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Blight KJ, Kolykhalov AA, Rice CM (2000) Efficient initiation of HCV RNA replication in cell culture. Science 290:1972–1974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Grove J, Nielsen S, Zhong J, Bassendine MF, Drummer HE, Balfe P et al (2008) Identification of a residue in hepatitis C virus E2 glycoprotein that determines scavenger receptor BI and CD81 receptor dependency and sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. J Virol 82:12020–12029CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bailey JR, Wasilewski LN, Snider AE, El-Diwany R, Osburn WO, Keck Z et al (2015) Naturally selected hepatitis C virus polymorphisms confer broad neutralizing antibody resistance. J Clin Invest 125:437–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pedersen J, Jensen TB, Carlsen TH, Schonning K, Christensen PB, Laursen AL et al (2013) Neutralizing antibodies in patients with chronic hepatitis C, genotype 1, against a panel of genotype 1 culture viruses: lack of correlation to treatment outcome. PLoS One 8:e62674CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Copenhagen Hepatitis C Program (CO-HEP), Department of Infectious DiseasesHvidovre HospitalHvidovreDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations