Researchers have struggled to develop a vaccine for Hepatitis C virus so far. It is believed that HCV mutations that occur outside of sites often targeted by antibody responses helps the virus' resistance.
Johns Hopkins Medicine compiled a library of 113 HCV strains from 27 patients infected with HCV, and each strain was tested for susceptibility to two potent antibodies used for vaccine developments. The antibodies neutralized only about 85-88% of the virus in infected cells. Antibodies were found to be incredibly effective against some strains, and ineffective against others.
The researchers then compared HCV genomes of these strains to see what mutations gave resistance to each virus strain. They found that mutations in viral surface proteins correlated with viral persistence during antibody treatment. These mutations may allow the virus to enter cells and infect them before it is detected by the immune system.
*written before Muzz published his post