Persistence of Hepatitis C virus in serum is assured after any course of antiviral therapy that failed to obtain a sustained virological response.
Dr Siciliano and colleagues from Italy evaluated the long-term effect on serum Hepatitis C virus-RNA in patients on a course of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin therapy who were unable to obtain sustained response.
|Hep C-RNA clearance rate is higher in genotype 2 and 3 non-responders|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team determined serum Hepatitis C virus-RNA at monthly intervals in 68 non-responders, breakthroughs and relapsers.
The researchers also evaluated 52 naïve controls.
The team enrolled the patients in a 5-year study.
The researchers found that 5 genotype 2 or 3 patients cleared Hepatitis C virus-RNA after the end of therapy or relapse.
The patients remained negative until the end of follow-up.
Hepatitis C virus-RNA clearance rate in genotype 2 and 3 non-responders, breakthroughs or relapsers was higher than in controls with the same genotypes.
The team noted that Hepatitis C virus-RNA at the end of treatment or at relapse was less than 105 IU/mL in the 5 patients who cleared the virus.
None of genotype 1 or 4 patients cleared Hepatitis C virus-RNA during follow-up.
Dr Siciliano's team concludes, “Late resolution of Hepatitis C virus infection is possible in genotype 2 or 3 patients with low viral load at the end of therapy or at relapse.”
“In these subjects, Hepatitis C virus-RNA monitoring is advisable during the first year after therapy.”