Persistence of hepatitis C virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of sustained viral responders to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy.
ABSTRACT The aim of this paper was to assess the persistence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among patients successfully treated with peginterferon and ribavirin. The persistence of viral RNA was evaluated in the serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 25 chronic hepatitis C patients with sustained viral response to peginterferon and ribavirin treatment up to 56 months after the completion of therapy. Viral RNA was detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures of five patients (20%), but none had detectable serum HCV RNA. At present, the clinical relevance of this finding is unclear. It is possible that viral persistence and, specifically, the presence of HCV RNA in PBMCs may lead to HCV reactivation under special circumstances, such as immunosuppression.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: to assess persistence of sustained viral response at 5 years of follow-up in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Design: a descriptive study. Patients: from August 2001 to May 2004, all patients treated at our center with pegylated interferon and ribavirin who achieved a sustained viral response were consecutively enrolled (93 patients). Demographic, histological, biochemical, and virological data were collected during treatment and 5 years after achievement of the sustained viral response. Eighty-six percent of patients enrolled (n = 80) attended the control visit at 5 years. Results: mean age of enrolled patients was 41 years (standard deviation = 10 years), and 30.1% (n = 28) were women. Liver biopsy had been performed before treatment in 68.8% of patients (n = 64), showing no or mild fibrosis in 62.3% (F0 and F1) and significant fibrosis and cirrhosis in 37.7% (F ≥ 3). Genotype distribution was: 58.1% genotype 1 (n = 54); 8.6% genotype 2 (n = 8); 24.7% genotype 3 (n = 23); 7.5% genotype 4 (n = 7), and indeterminate in one patient. Only one patient experienced virological recurrence. All other patients had negative HCV RNA levels and, in the absence of other liver diseases, normal ALT levels. Conclusion: in patients treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin with sustained viral response, long-term recurrence rate was very low.Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 02/2011; 103(2):56-61. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Occult hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is characterized by the presence of HCV RNA in the liver cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the patients whose serum samples test negative for HCV RNA, with or without presence of HCV antibodies. The present study reviews the existing literature on the persistence of occult hepatitis C virus infection, with description of the clinical characteristics and methods for identification of occult hepatitis C. Occult hepatitis C virus infection was detected in patients with abnormal results of liver function tests of unknown origin, with HCV antibodies and HCV RNA negativity in serum, and also in patients with spontaneous or treatment-induced recovery from hepatitis C. The viral replication in the liver cells and/or peripheral blood mononuclear cells was present in all clinical presentations of occult hepatitis C. The peripheral blood mononuclear cells represent an extra-hepatic site of HCV replication. The reason why HCV RNA was not detectable in the serum of patients with occult hepatitis C, could be the low number of circulating viral particles not detectable by the diagnostic tests with low sensitivity. It is uncertain whether occult hepatitis C is a different clinical entity or just a form of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Data accumulated over the last decade demonstrated that an effective approach to the diagnosis of HCV infection would be the implementation of more sensitive HCV RNA diagnostic assays, and also, examination of the presence of viral particles in the cells of the immune system. J. Med. Virol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Journal of Medical Virology 06/2014; 86(9). · 2.22 Impact Factor
- Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 02/2011; 103(2):53-55. · 1.32 Impact Factor