fax: (20) 7380-0405
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 2006 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 43, Issue 3, pages 602–611, March 2006
How to Cite
Kennedy, P. T.F., Urbani, S., Moses, R. A., Amadei, B., Fisicaro, P., Lloyd, J., Maini, M. K., Dusheiko, G., Ferrari, C. and Bertoletti, A. (2006), The influence of T cell cross-reactivity on HCV-peptide specific human T cell response. Hepatology, 43: 602–611. doi: 10.1002/hep.21081
This study was approved by the local Ethics committees at the Royal Free Hospital and University College London Hospitals, London.
Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Received: 27 SEP 2005
- Entry-Level Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust
Detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell response after exposure to hepatitis C in anti-HCV–positive or anti-HCV–negative patients has been associated with an ability to successfully control the infection. However, cross-reactivity between common human pathogens and HCV sequences has been demonstrated. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of T cell cross-reactivity on HCV-specific T cell responses and their detection in HCV infected and non-infected subjects. The magnitude, function, and cross-reactivity of HCV peptide reactive T cells were studied in non–HCV-infected newborns and adults using a broad array of HCV peptides (601 peptides) spanning the entire HCV sequence. Comparisons were made with responses present in recovered and in chronically HCV-infected patients. HCV peptide reactive T cells are detectable in adults irrespective of previous HCV exposure and cross-reactivity between HCV peptides, and sequences of common pathogens, such as human herpes virus 1, can be demonstrated. Furthermore, the comprehensive magnitude of HCV-peptide reactive T cells present in chronically HCV-infected patients is similar and in some cases even lower than that of HCV-peptide reactive T cell response found in HCV-negative adults. In conclusion, the presence of oligo-specific HCV-peptide reactive T cells in humans does not always reflect a demonstration of previous HCV contact, whereas cross-reactivity with other common pathogens can potentially influence the HCV-specific T cell profile. The conspicuous deficit of HCV-peptide–specific T cells found in chronically HCV-infected patients confirms the profound collapse of virus-specific T cell response caused by HCV persistence. (HEPATOLOGY 2006;43:602–611.)