Clearance of HCV RNA following acute hepatitis A superinfection
A transient reduction of hepatitis C virus replication during the course of acute hepatitis A virus infection has already been reported in the literature. The present study reports the case study of a subject with chronic hepatitis due to hepatitis C virus who went on to develop an acute hepatitis A. From the early onset of acute disease, hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid became undetectable. Following recovery from acute hepatitis, alanine amino-transferase levels became persistently normal and liver biopsy revealed a reduction in the Knodell histological activity index score. Hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid clearance was maintained up to 4 years after the onset of acute hepatitis A. During the course of the acute disease, a sharp increase in interferon gamma levels was detected in serum and in the supernatant of both unstimulated and phytoemagglutinin/lipopolysaccharide-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Interferon gamma levels were still high 3 months later. We hypothesize that acute hepatitis A virus superinfection during the course of chronic hepatitis C may lead to hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid clearance through an immunological mechanism related to interferon gamma production.
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