Selection of more pathogenic hepatitis C virus genotype II during long-term follow-up of interferon-treated patients

E. Villa, P. Buttafoco, A. Merighi, A. Grottola, I. Ferretti, A. Ferrari, F. Callea, P. Trande, A. M. Rebecchi, F. Manenti

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The behavior of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with regards to type and number of HCV genotypes (tested with genotype-specific nested polymerase chain reaction) was evaluated in 60 patients with anti-HCV-positive chronic active hepatitis without cirrhosis [17 untreated and 43 subjects undergoing single or repeat courses of interferon (IFN) therapy] during a mean follow-up period of 76±18 months. In untreated patients (2 genotype I, 6 genotype II, 9 mixed infections) 4 out of 9 mixed infections selected for genotype II at the end of follow-up. Of the 43 treated patients 10 were long-term responders with histological remission, 6 were shortterm responders, and 22 did not respond. Fifteen of the latter patients received another course of IFN therapy, and only 3 patients responded. Eight of the 10 responders had infection with a single genotype (4 gt I, 3 gt II, 3 gt III). After IFN therapy, all but 2 patients cleared the HCV infection. The responders to the second IFN course (1 gt I, 1 gt II, 1 gt III) remained viremic. Of the shortterm responders, 2/6 patients had genotype II and 4 had a mixed infection (3 gt II±I and 1 gt II±III); gt III became prevalent in the latter in all but one patient. Of the nonresponders 18/24 had more than one genoytpe, 5 were genotype II at baseline and one had genotype I. At the end of the follow-up period 15/18 with mixed infection had selected for gt II (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Genotypes
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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