Recent advances in molecular biology have led to the development of new antiviral drugs that target specific steps of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) lifecycle. These drugs, collectively termed direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), include non-structural (NS) HCV protein inhibitors, NS3/4A protease inhibitors, NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors (nucleotide analogues and non-nucleoside inhibitors), and NS5A inhibitors. Due to the high genetic variability of HCV, the outcome of DAA-based therapies may be altered by the selection of amino-acid substitutions located within the targeted proteins, which affect viral susceptibility to the administered compounds. At the drug developmental stage, preclinical and clinical characterization of HCV resistance to new drugs in development is mandatory. In the clinical setting, accurate diagnostic tools have become available to monitor drug resistance in patients who receive treatment with DAAs. In this review, we describe tools available to investigate drug resistance in preclinical studies, clinical trials and clinical practice.
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