Medical Xpress (09.12.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
In a study of patients with acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, researchers reported that women had higher rates of spontaneous viral clearance with undetectable levels of the virus without receiving drug therapy.
The researchers reviewed data from a collaboration of nine prospective studies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States that were funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Professor Kimberly Page from the University of California, San Francisco. This group of studies, called the InC3 Study, involved HCV- and HIV-infected participants recruited between 1985 and 2010. The participants were 632 individuals with acute HCV; this group included 35 percent females and 82 percent Caucasians. Approximately 96 percent of participants had injected drugs; 47 percent had HCV genotype 1; and 5 percent were HIV-coinfected.
Of the 632 participants, 173 had spontaneously cleared HCV during follow-up. At one-year post-infection, 25 percent had cleared HCV. For those who cleared HCV, the average time to clearance was 16.5 weeks; 34 percent, 67 percent, and 83 percent experienced clearance by 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Page noted that the findings indicated that females with the IL28B gene and those with HCV genotype 1 were independent predictors of spontaneous clearance of acute HCV. She acknowledged that additional research was needed to determine the effect of sex in controlling HCV infection.
The full report, “The Effects of Female Sex, Viral Genotype, and IL28B Genotype on Spontaneous Clearance of Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection," was published in the journal Hepatology (2013; doi: 10.1002/hep.26639).