Early upsurge in anti‐HBs titer possibly caused by the immunomodulative, not by the mutagenetic effect of interferon and ribavirin
ABSTRACT A patient with chronic hepatitis B and C undergoing treatment with interferon and ribavirin showed an upsurge in hepatitis B virus surface antibody (anti-HBs) titer, accompanied by a decrease in hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) during the early treatment phase. Simultaneously, elevation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was observed. Subsequently, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA titer decreased and HBV e antigen (HBeAg) to anti-HBe seroconversion occurred. The anti-HBs titer gradually returned to the pretreatment level after cessation of ribavirin treatment and HBV-DNA became undetectable. We found no nucleotide mutations in HBV-DNA that could explain the sudden elevation in anti-HBs titer. The appearance of anti-HBs was considered to be a break in immune tolerance against some epitopes in HBsAg, possibly the r epitope, stimulated by interferon/ribavirin treatment. The immunomodulatory effect of ribavirin might have caused this unexpected early immune response to HBsAg that preceded seroconversion to anti-HBe.
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA was extracted from sera of six carriers with hepatitis B e antigen as well as antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen and sequenced within the pre-S regions and the S gene. HBV DNA clones from five of these carriers had point mutations in the S gene, resulting in conversion from Ile-126 or Thr-126 of the wild-type virus to Ser-126 or Asn-126 in three carriers and conversion from Gly-145 to Arg-145 in three of them; clones with Asn-126 or Arg-145 were found in one carrier. All 12 clones from the other carrier had an insertion of 24 bp encoding an additional eight amino acids between Thr-123 and Cys-124. In addition, all or at least some of the HBV DNA clones from these carriers had in-phase deletions in the 5' terminus of the pre-S2 region. These results indicate that HBV escape mutants with mutations in the S gene affecting the expression of group-specific determinants would survive in some carriers after they seroconvert to antibody against surface antigen. Carriers with HBV escape mutants may transmit HBV either by donation of blood units without detectable surface antigen or through community-acquired infection, which would hardly be prevented by current hepatitis B immuneglobulin or vaccines.Journal of Virology 05/1994; 68(4):2671-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A variant of hepatitis B virus (HBV) having a specific mutation within the S gene has been found to infect vaccinees. To know whether similar variants were involved in Japan, we analyzed two cases of maternal transmission of HBV in infants immunized with hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine. DNA clones of HBV S genes were propagated from patients and family members and sequenced. In one family, the DNA clones from the baby patient had a Gly-to-Arg mutation at the 145th codon of the S gene, whereas those from her mother had no such mutations. In the other family, all the DNA clones obtained from the two infected children had the 145th codon intact, but they had a missense mutation at the 126th codon of the S gene, causing an amino acid substitution of Asn for Thr or Ile. This same mutation was observed in 12 of 17 clones of DNA obtained from their mother. In comparison with the wild type HBV-derived hepatitis B surface antigen, the two types of S gene mutations, either at the 145th or the 126th codon, were associated with a significant decrease in the antigenicity of some determinants on the hepatitis B surface antigen, measured by MAb. Amino acid substitution at these sites, therefore, would have induced the escape from conventional vaccines that were S gene products of wild type HBV and also from hepatitis B immune globulin, whose main components were probably also antibodies against the S gene products expressed by wild type HBV.Pediatric Research 10/1992; 32(3):264-8. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The goal of hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy is permanent viral eradication. This requires the use of drug combinations with multiple modes of action. Steady-state HCV replication kinetics can be disrupted by drugs that inhibit virus production (antiviral molecules), inhibit de novo cell infection, and/or accelerate the clearance of infected cells. Pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin combine all of these mechanisms of action when used together, yet fail to clear HCV from a significant number of patients. New therapeutic approaches are needed. The next generation of anti-HCV therapeutic agents will fall into four main categories: new interferons and interferon inducers, alternatives to ribavirin, specific HCV inhibitors, and immune therapies. Ideally, these new treatments will increase the rate of sustained viral eradication and improve tolerability and acceptability. Drug combinations will be tailored to the individual patient, based on baseline parameters and viral kinetics during therapy.Seminars in Liver Disease 03/2005; 25(1):72-83. · 8.27 Impact Factor