Interferon-ribavirin therapy induces serum antibodies determining 'rods and rings' pattern in hepatitis C patients

Cristina Novembrino, Alessio Aghemo, Chiara Ferraris Fusarini, Rita Maiavacca, Caterina Matinato, Giovanna Lunghi, Erminio Torresani, Mariangela Ronchi, Maria Cristina Garlaschi, Miriam Ramondetta, Massimo Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary A cytoplasmic antigen associated to inosine-5'-monophosphatedehydrogenase 2 eliciting specific antibodies (antirods and rings, RR) has been identified in patients with chronic hepatitis C who were exposed to pegylated interferon (PI) and ribavirin (RBV). The significance of anti-RR in these patients merits to be investigated. Sera from 88 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients undergoing PI-RBV therapy were analysed for the presence of RR pattern by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 substrate (Inova Diagnostics, San Diego, CA, USA). Anti-RR antibodies developed de novo in 32 patients independently of any demographic and virological feature, but with a significant association with cumulative exposure to PI-RBV (P = 0.0089; chi-square test). RR pattern was significantly more frequent in relapsers than in patients achieving sustained virological response (56% vs 30%; P = 0.0282, chi-square test). Anti-RR titre ranged from 1:80 to 1:1280, but significantly declined following treatment cessation. Anti-RR develop de novo in a substantial proportion of patients exposed to PI-RBV in relation to the duration of treatment exposure. Further investigations are necessary to unravel the mechanisms leading to the formation of these autoantibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-949
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • autoantibodies
  • hepatitis C virus
  • inosine-5'-monophosphatedehydrogenase 2
  • interferon
  • ribavirin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)

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