Recent Advances in Pegylated Interferon Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C

ISSN: 2211-3533 (Online)
ISSN: 2211-3525 (Print)

Volume 14, 2 Issues, 2016

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Anti-Infective Agents

Formerly: Anti-Infective Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

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Recent Advances in Pegylated Interferon Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C

Anti-Infective Agents, 5(4): 379-387.

Author(s): Carla S. Coffin and Samuel S Lee.

Affiliation: Room 1721, Health Sciences Centre, Liver Unit, Division of Gastroenterology, 3330 Hospital Drive NW,University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.


Effective hepatitis C antiviral treatment is important given the significant global morbidity and mortality from liver-related complications. Therapy for hepatitis C has advanced remarkably in the past two decades starting with interferon- alpha (IFN) monotherapy, followed by genetically engineered recombinant interferons (consensus IFN alpha) and subsequently IFN alpha in combination with the nucleoside analog ribavirin. The current gold standard is a combination of long-acting pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) with ribavirin achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) with acceptable safety profiles in 54-66% of patients. These therapies have significantly contributed to our armamentarium against hepatitis C virus infection. Despite this success some subgroups have lower response rates (i.e. previous IFN nonresponders, patients with genotype 1 or cirrhosis). Moreover, the question of a “true SVR ” has been raised. Recent studies confirming detection of residual HCV RNA using ultra-sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based assays in patients many years after complete clinical resolution of chronic hepatitis C raise concerns whether these patients have actually been cured. In this paper we review the natural history, epidemiology and basic virology of hepatitis C. Current treatments and long-term benefits of achieving a SVR, including the antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of IFN are also explored. Finally, we review the current understanding of persistent occult viremia in patients apparently cleared of HCV after achieving SVR with antiviral treatment.


Peginterferon, ribavirin, sustained virological response, occult, persistence.

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Article Details

Volume: 5
Issue Number: 4
First Page: 379
Last Page: 387
Page Count: 9
DOI: 10.2174/187152106778520415
Price: $58
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