Correlates and prognostic value of hepatitisC virus core antigen serum levels during chronic infection and treatment

Abstract number: P1147

Durante-Mangoni E., Vallefuoco L., Perna E., Iossa D., Andini R., Caianiello C., Ragone E., Utili R., Portella G.

Objectives: The current assessment of chronic hepatitis C patients includes determination of aminotransferases, viral load and HCV genotype. Recently, a novel assay has been developed that allows quantification of HCV core antigen (HCVcoAg) with a sensitivity of 3 fmol/L. In this study, we analysed HCVcoAg levels in a cohort of chronic hepatitis C patients to assess their correlation with clinical and virological parameters and their changes during antiviral treatment.

Methods: We studied 26 chronic hepatitis C patients treated with standard doses of pegylated interferon a and ribavirin. Baseline data incuded quantitative HCV-RNA, HCV genotype, ALT, GGT as well as histology parameters including necroinflammation, fibrosis and steatosis. HCV-RNA and HCVcoAg levels were also measured in samples obtained 2, 14 and 28 days after antiviral treatment start.

Results: HCVcoAg baseline levels showed a good correlation with HCV-RNA (r = 0.26) and ALT (r = 0.32) levels and with liver necroinflammatory activity (r = 0.24) but not fibrosis or steatosis. Genotype 3 patients showed significantly lower baseline levels of HCVcoAg than both genotype 1 and 2 patients (1024 vs 8062 and 5538, respectively; p < 0.05). Pre-treatment HCVcoAg levels did not show any predictive value for final treatment outcome. However, the early decline of HCVcoAg from baseline to day 2 of treatment was significantly greater in patients who subsequently reached a sustained virological response compared to those nonresponders or relapsers to treatment.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that the evaluation of HCVcoAg serum levels may provide relevant data in the baseline clinical evaluation of patients with chronic hepatitis C. In addition, early changes of HCVcoAg serum levels during treatment mirror those observed with HCV-RNA measurement. Further studies are underway to determine whether a cheaper and faster assay such as HCVcoAg measurement may replace HCV-RNA in the early assessment of virological response to peg-interferon/ribavirin regimens.

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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