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Titers of Antibodies Associated with Hepatitis C Virus during and after Interferon Therapy : Evaluation of anti-C100 and anti-core antibodies

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To clarify useful indicators during treatment with interferon-α (IFN-α) against chronic hepatitis C, 25 patients were surveilled. Several viral markers for the evaluation of the effects of IFN therapy were examined. The antibody to C100 (anti-C100), antibody to the protein encoded in the core region of HCV (anti-core), and hepatitis C virus RNA (HCV-RNA) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were assayed before and after IFN treatment in each patient. In 6 out of 25 patients, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels decreased to normal values within 6 months after IFN therapy and remained within the normal range thereafter. In 8 patients, ALT levels showed transient normal levels within one month after the therapy, but in the other 11 patients, ALT levels did not change during the course of IFN therapy. In 6 patients with good responses and 8 patients with transient responses, histological findings in the liver biopsy specimens before treatment were more moderately changed than those in patients with no response to IFN. Titers of anti-C100 before treatment in patients with good responses to IFN were higher than those in patients with no response. Changes in the titers of anti-C100 and anti-core and changes of HCV-RNA in each patient correlated well with the changes in serum aminotransferase levels. Therefore, HCV antibody titers and HCV-RNA are considered to be useful indicators in predicting the prognoses of patients who receive IFN therapy.

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