Persistence of Hepatitis C Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Sustained Viral Responders to Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin Therapy
- 119 Downloads
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.
KeywordsViral hepatitis Hepatitis C virus Viral persistence Peripheral blood mononuclear cells Peginterferon
This work was supported in part by a grant from the Palumbo Foundation, the Edson Foundation and Roche Laboratories. The study sponsors did not participate in the design of the study, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, and were not involved in the writing of the manuscript.
- 6.Willems M, Peerlinck K, Moshage H, Deleu I, Van den Eynde C, Vermylen J et al (1994) Hepatitis C virus-RNAs in plasma and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of hemophiliacs with chronic hepatitis C: evidence for viral replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. J Med Virol 42(3):272–278. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890420314 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Castillo I, Rodríguez-Iñigo E, Bartolome J, de Lucas S, Ortíz-Movilla N, López-Alcorocho JM et al (2005) Hepatitis C virus replicates in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with occult hepatitis C virus infection. Gut 54(5):682–685. doi: 10.1136/gut.2004.057281 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Manns MP, McHutchison JG, Gordon SC, Rustgi VK, Shiffman M, Reindollar R et al (2001) Peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin compared with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin for initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a randomised trial. Lancet 358(9286):958–965. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06102-5 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 15.Tanaka H, Tsukuma H, Kasahara A, Hayashi N, Yoshihara H, Masuzawa M et al (2000) Effect of interferon therapy on the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and mortality of patients with chronic hepatitis C: a retrospective cohort study of 738 patients. Int J Cancer 87(5):741–749. doi:10.1002/1097-0215(20000901)87:5<741::AID-IJC18>3.0.CO;2-BPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Laskus T, Radkowski M, Wang LF, Nowicki M, Rakela J (2000) Uneven distribution of hepatitis C virus quasispecies in tissues from subjects with end-stage liver disease: confounding effect of viral adsorption and mounting evidence for the presence of low-level extrahepatic replication. J Virol 74(2):1014–1017. doi: 10.1128/JVI.74.2.1014-1017.2000 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar