Changes in hepatitis C virus (HCV) viral load and interferon-alpha levels in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Bower, W.A., Culver, D.H., Castor, D., Wu, Y., James, V.N., Zheng, H., Hammer, S., Kuhnert, W.L., Williams, I.T., Bell, B.P., Vlahov, D., Dezzutti, C.S.
Journal   J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr.
Analytes Measured  
Matrix Tested   Serum
Year   2006
Volume   42
Page Numbers   293-7
Application   Cytokines and Chemokines
BACKGROUND: Reports are mixed as to whether highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) increases liver transaminase levels or hepatitis C virus (HCV) titers in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals. It is hypothesized that increases in HCV RNA titers may result from changes in endogenous interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) production.

METHODS: HIV/HCV-coinfected patients receiving HAART were tested at baseline, 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 months for liver transaminase levels, HIV and HCV viral loads, and IFN-alpha. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the effect of HAART on liver transaminase levels, HCV viral load, and IFN-alpha.

RESULTS: Initiating HAART did not increase liver transaminase levels in majority of cases. In patients (n = 30) with baseline HIV titer >10,000 copies/mL, HCV titers increased 0.69 log10 and IFN-alpha decreased -0.96 log10 during HAART, in association with a > or =0.5 log10 decrease in HIV titer. As HIV titers reached their nadir approximately 4 months after initiation of HAART, HCV titers remained 0.54 log10 and IFN-alpha -0.71 log10 above and below baseline levels, respectively. HCV titers and IFN-alpha levels did not change from baseline in patients with baseline HIV titer < or =10,000 copies/mL.

CONCLUSIONS: Coinfected patients did not have evidence of hepatoxicity HAART. In patients with baseline HIV titer >10,000 copies/mL, suppression of HIV replication by HAART was associated with an increase in HCV titer and a decrease in endogenous IFN-alpha levels.

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