QUASI-SPECIES NATURE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS AND RESPONSE TO
ALPHA-INTERFERON - SIGNIFICANCE AS A PREDICTOR OF DIRECT RESPONSE
We evaluated the significance of the quasispecies nature of HCV as
a predictor of the response to alpha interferon therapy in patients
with chronic hepatitis C.
Natural alpha interferon was administered in 62 patients for 24
weeks (daily for 2 weeks, then three times weekly for 22 weeks) and
factors were analyzed that could affect the response. HCV subtype,
HCV RNA concentrations and the number of HCV quasispecies were
evaluated before treatment. HCV RNA concentrations were measured by
branched DNA probe assay. The number of HCV quasispecies was
measured by fluorescence single-strand conformation polymorphism
The HCV RNA concentration (p<0.0001), HCV subtype (p=0.0076),
and the number of HCV quasispecies (p=0.0024) were significantly
associated with a complete response. Multivariate analyses showed
that the number of HCV quasispecies was an independent predictor of
the disappearance of HCV RNA during the administration of alpha
interferon, but did not predict a relapse after its completion.
Pretreatment concentration of HCV RNA was the only factor that was
related to a long-term disappearance of HCV RNA.
The number of HCV quasispecies was significantly related to the
response to alpha interferon early in its administration. The
pretreatment concentration of HCV RNA was mainly related to a
relapse following completion of treatment.
Author: T KUMADA, OGAKI MUNICIPAL HOSP, DEPT GASTROENTEROL,
4-86 MINAMI NOKAWA, OGAKI OGAKI GIFU 503
Source: JOURNAL OF HEPATOLOGY 1997 JAN;26(1):6-13
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