A recently released immunoassay detecting total serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen was used to prospectively monitor virological responses to antiviral treatment in patients with chronic HCV infection. Sustained responders cleared core protein from serum within the first month of therapy and maintained stably negative values for the entire duration of follow-up after treatment discontinuation. However, patients who relapsed or failed to respond showed transient negative values and could not be accurately discriminated either because of the intrinsic lower sensitivity of the core-antigen assay than those of molecular assays or because of differentially regulated secretion of immunoreactive core protein from infected hepatocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)