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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-40530

Rohrbach, J; Robinson, N; Harcourt, G; Hammond, E; Gaudieri, S; Gorgievski, M; Telenti, A; Keiser, O; Günthard, H F; Hirschel, B; Hoffmann, M; Bernasconi, E; Battegay, M; Furrer, H; Klenerman, P; Rauch, A (2010). Cellular immune responses to HCV core increase and HCV RNA levels decrease during successful antiretroviral therapy. Gut, 59(9):1252-1258.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of morbidity in HIV infected individuals. Coinfection with HIV is associated with diminished HCV-specific immune responses and higher HCV RNA levels.

AIMS: To investigate whether long-term combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) restores HCV-specific T cell responses and improves the control of HCV replication.

METHODS: T cell responses were evaluated longitudinally in 80 HIV/HCV coinfected individuals by ex vivo interferon-gamma-ELISpot responses to HCV core peptides, that predominantly stimulate CD4(+) T cells. HCV RNA levels were assessed by real-time PCR in 114 individuals.

RESULTS: The proportion of individuals with detectable T cell responses to HCV core peptides was 19% before starting cART, 24% in the first year on cART and increased significantly to 45% and 49% after 33 and 70 months on cART (p=0.001). HCV-specific immune responses increased in individuals with chronic (+31%) and spontaneously cleared HCV infection (+30%). Median HCV RNA levels before starting cART were 6.5 log(10) IU/ml. During long-term cART, median HCV-RNA levels slightly decreased compared to pre-cART levels (-0.3 log10 IU/ml, p=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Successful cART is associated with increasing cellular immune responses to HCV core peptides and with a slight long-term decrease in HCV RNA levels. These findings are in line with the favourable clinical effects of cART on the natural history of hepatitis C and with the current recommendation to start cART earlier in HCV/HIV coinfected individuals.

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
DDC:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:13 Jan 2011 18:07
Last Modified:28 Nov 2013 02:07
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0017-5749
Additional Information:Comment in: Gut. 2010 Sep;59(9):1167-8.
Publisher DOI:10.1136/gut.2009.205971
PubMed ID:20660698
Citations:Web of Science®. Times Cited: 24
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Scopus®. Citation Count: 27

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