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Autoimmune liver serology before and after successful treatment of chronic hepatitis C by direct acting antiviral agents


Terziroli Beretta-Piccoli, Benedetta; Di Bartolomeo, Claudia; Deleonardi, Gaia; Grondona, Ana Gabriela; Silvestri, Tania; Tesei, Cinzia; Melidona, Laura; Cerny, Andreas; Mertens, Joachim; Semmo, Nasser; Semela, David; Moradpour, Darius; Mieli-Vergani, Giorgina; Vergani, Diego; Muratori, Luigi; Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study (2019). Autoimmune liver serology before and after successful treatment of chronic hepatitis C by direct acting antiviral agents. Journal of autoimmunity, 102:89-95.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with a wide range of immunopathological manifestations, which are significantly improved by successful interferon-based treatment. There is paucity of data on the impact of interferon-free HCV clearance on immunopathological manifestations, which might be expected to disappear more frequently as compared to what reported in interferon-induced HCV-clearance. We have investigated liver autoimmune serology before and after interferon-free clearance of HCV by treatment with direct acting antiviral agents (DAA).
METHOD
Patients within the Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study who underwent successful (SVR 12) HCV treatment with DAA were tested for autoimmune liver serology according to dedicated guidelines before and at least 6 months after end of treatment.
RESULTS
A total of 235 patients were included; 62% males; median age 56 years; 27% with cirrhosis. Median time between end of DAA treatment and post-treatment serum sampling was 17 months. At least one autoantibody before treatment was found in 175 (74%) patients ; 32 (14%) were positive for 2 autoantibodies; no patient was positive for anti-SLA, anti-LC1 or typical AMA before or after DAA. ANA disappeared in 34%, SMA in 52% and anti-LKM1 in one of two patients after successful treatment, but, unexpectedly, one or more autoantibodies appeared in 27% of pre-treatment negative subjects.
CONCLUSION
HCV clearance by DAA is associated with autoantibody disappearance in more than one third of the patients who were positive before treatment. However, the majority of the patients remain autoantibody-positive and 27% of those who were negative before treatment developed autoantibodies after DAA-induced HCV clearance. These data confirm that HCV infection is associated with autoimmunity and show that the autoimmune imprint persists after viral clearance by DAA, suggesting that long-term follow-up may be warranted.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with a wide range of immunopathological manifestations, which are significantly improved by successful interferon-based treatment. There is paucity of data on the impact of interferon-free HCV clearance on immunopathological manifestations, which might be expected to disappear more frequently as compared to what reported in interferon-induced HCV-clearance. We have investigated liver autoimmune serology before and after interferon-free clearance of HCV by treatment with direct acting antiviral agents (DAA).
METHOD
Patients within the Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study who underwent successful (SVR 12) HCV treatment with DAA were tested for autoimmune liver serology according to dedicated guidelines before and at least 6 months after end of treatment.
RESULTS
A total of 235 patients were included; 62% males; median age 56 years; 27% with cirrhosis. Median time between end of DAA treatment and post-treatment serum sampling was 17 months. At least one autoantibody before treatment was found in 175 (74%) patients ; 32 (14%) were positive for 2 autoantibodies; no patient was positive for anti-SLA, anti-LC1 or typical AMA before or after DAA. ANA disappeared in 34%, SMA in 52% and anti-LKM1 in one of two patients after successful treatment, but, unexpectedly, one or more autoantibodies appeared in 27% of pre-treatment negative subjects.
CONCLUSION
HCV clearance by DAA is associated with autoantibody disappearance in more than one third of the patients who were positive before treatment. However, the majority of the patients remain autoantibody-positive and 27% of those who were negative before treatment developed autoantibodies after DAA-induced HCV clearance. These data confirm that HCV infection is associated with autoimmunity and show that the autoimmune imprint persists after viral clearance by DAA, suggesting that long-term follow-up may be warranted.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Life Sciences > Immunology
Language:English
Date:August 2019
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 16:13
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:15
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0896-8411
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2019.04.019
PubMed ID:31047768

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