Viral interaction and responses in chronic hepatitis C and B coinfected patients with interferon-alpha plus ribavirin combination therapy.Antivir Ther. 2005; 10(1):125-33.AT
We conducted a case-control study to investigate the efficacy of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) and ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C and B virus (HCV/HBV) coinfection and to elucidate the interaction of these two viruses.
Forty-two chronic HCV/HBV-coinfected patients (29 IFN-naive, 13 IFN-relapsed) and 84 HCV-monoinfected controls, matched for age, sex and previous history of IFN-alpha therapy, were enrolled. All patients were treated with IFN-alpha-2b 6 MU three-times weekly plus ribavirin 1000-1200 mg daily for 24 weeks. Serum HCV RNA and HBV DNA were determined every 24 weeks for 72 weeks.
The rate of HCV sustained virological response (SVR) was comparable among IFN-naive and IFN-relapsed HCV/HBV-coinfected patients and IFN-naive and IFN-relapsed HCV-monoinfected patients (69.0%, 69.2%, 67.2% and 57.7%, respectively; intention-to-treat analysis). HCV genotype 1b, high pretreatment HCV RNA levels and liver fibrosis were significantly associated with a lower HCV SVR. Of 16 baseline HBV viraemic patients, five (31.3%) achieved HBV SVR, which correlated negatively to HCV genotype non-1b and HCV SVR. Only one (6.3%) had simultaneous seroclearance of HCV and HBV. Antibodies to HBV surface antigen seroconversion developed in five (11.9%) patients during long-term follow-up. HCV responders had significantly higher rates of HBV DNA resurgence than HCV non-responders during and after treatment. Reciprocal viral interference was noted between HCV and HBV after IFN-alpha/ribavirin therapy.
IFN-alpha/ribavirin combination therapy is effective for HCV/HBV-coinfected patients in eradicating HCV infection and might promote HBV seroclearance, and there is a mutual viral response and reciprocal viral interaction between HBV and HCV.