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Early quantification of HCV core antigen may help to determine the duration of therapy for chronic genotype 2 or 3 HCV infection

Journal article
Authors Åsa Alsiö
A. Jannesson
N. Langeland
C. Pedersen
M. Farkkila
M. R. Buhl
K. Morch
Johan Westin
Kristoffer Hellstrand
Gunnar Norkrans
Martin Lagging
Published in European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Volume 31
Issue 7
Pages 1631-1635
ISSN 0934-9723
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 1631-1635
Language en
Keywords rapid virological response, chronic hepatitis-c, real-time pcr, peginterferon alpha-2a, plus ribavirin, clinical utility, assay
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the utility of hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen (coreAg) assessment for the identification of candidates for short-term therapy. Plasma samples from HCV genotype 2 or 3-infected patients participating in the NORDynamIC trial (n = 382) comparing 12 and 24 weeks of combination treatment with pegylated interferon-alpha 2a and a fixed dose of 800 mg ribavirin daily were analyzed for coreAg. Among the 126 patients (33% of the intention-to-treat population) achieving HCV coreAg levels in plasma below 0.2 pg/mL when assayed on treatment day 3, sustained viral response (SVR) rates of 86% and 84% were achieved in the 12- and 24-week arms, respectively. Similarly, among patients having received at least 80% of the target dose of both pegylated interferon alpha-2a and of ribavirin for at least 80% of the target treatment duration (per-protocol analysis), the SVR rates were 89% and 95%, respectively. Twelve weeks of combination treatment may be sufficient for genotype 2 or 3-infected patients achieving HCV coreAg levels below 0.2 pg/mL by day 3, signaling a rapid clearance of HCV viremia.

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