Heiner Wedemeyer, Marc Lehmann, and Michael P. Manns had the idea and have developed the concept of the study. All patients were seen and treated by ML and MFM. Serotyping was performed by MFM and HW. MM performed HCV genotyping in viremic patients. The article was written by HW, MPM, ML, and MFM.
High rate of spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C virus genotype 3 infection†
Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 73, Issue 3, pages 387–391, July 2004
How to Cite
Lehmann, M., Meyer, M. F., Monazahian, M., Tillmann, H. L., Manns, M. P. and Wedemeyer, H. (2004), High rate of spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C virus genotype 3 infection. J. Med. Virol., 73: 387–391. doi: 10.1002/jmv.20103
- Issue online: 24 MAY 2004
- Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 MAR 2004
- German network of Excellence for viral hepatitis (“Hep-Net”), core project 10.2.2 (to H.W.)
- acute hepatitis C;
- spontaneous clearance;
Treating acute hepatitis C with interferon alpha prevents chronicity in nearly all cases when therapy is initiated within 3 months after infection. However, 15–50% of untreated patients may clear the hepatitis C virus (HCV) spontaneously. Therefore, factors are needed to identify patients prior to therapy who have a higher or lower risk for developing a chronic course to avoid unnecessary treatment. The role of the HCV genotype for spontaneous recovery from acute hepatitis C has been discussed controversially. In the year 2002, all 1,176 new incoming prisoners in a Northern German prison for young men (age 16–24) were screened for anti-HCV antibodies and 92 tested positive. Ninety eight percent of these reported i.v.-drug abuse for a median of 32 months prior to imprisonment. HCV-RNA negative individuals (21%) were serotyped and HCV-RNA positive patients were genotyped. The prevalence of HCV genotype 3 was significantly higher among individuals who had cleared HCV spontaneously as compared to chronically infected patients (86% vs. 38%; P = 0.002). Ninety three percent of individuals exposed to HCV genotype 1 but only 63% of individuals exposed to genotype 3 experienced a chronic course of the infection (P = 0.006). Thus, acute infection in young Caucasian men with HCV genotype 3 leads more often to spontaneous clearance than infection with HCV genotype-1. Considering also the high chance of successful treatment of chronic HCV genotype 3 infection with pegylated-interferon in combination with ribavirin, we suggest not to treat acute hepatitis C genotype 3 infection early but rather to wait at least 3 months after the onset of symptoms when chronicity becomes likely. J. Med. Virol. 73:387–391, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.