Clinical usefulness of the branched DNA assay version 2 in predicting the efficacy of Interferon treatment in a group of chronic HCV patients based on serotype
Interferon (IFN) response depends upon pretreatment viral loads and viral genotype/serotype. This study investigated the difference in response to IFN in different viral load groups of 96 chronic hepatitis C patients and compared version 1 (bDNA1.0) and version 2 (bDNA2.0) of the branched DNA assay, according to serotype. On univariate analysis, viral load (P=0.0001, by bDNA 1.0; P=0.0020, by bDNA 2.0,), serotype (P=0.0053) and age (P=0.0073) were significant predictors of IFN response. On multivariate analysis, serotype (odds ratio, 5.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.94-15.24; P<0.01) was a stronger predictor of IFN response than age or viral load (by bDNA2.0). In very high (>6.7 log eq/ml), high (6.0 approximately 6.69 log eq/ml) and low (<6 log eq/ml) viral load groups (by bDNA2.0), complete response was 25, 55 and 92.6% in serotype 2 (sero-2), and 10, 20 and 71.4% in serotype 1 (sero-1), respectively. In sero-2, bDNA2.0 can detect high viral loads underestimated by bDNA1.0. In a low viral load group (by bDNA2.0), IFN response is dependent upon serotype; sero-2 responded better than sero-1. However, in high and very high viral load groups, sensitivities of bDNA1.0 and bDNA2.0 are not effective in clinically distinguishing CR from non-response, and aid in patient selection for IFN therapy.