Transmission of hepatitis C virus following antiviral treatment

July 8, 2014

Millions of people throughout the world are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Left untreated, infection results in serious complications such as cirrhosis of the liver and cancer. Many HCV-infected patients respond well to anti-viral therapy and remain virus free. However, trace amounts of HCV RNA are sporadically detected in patients thought to have successfully responded to HCV treatment.

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation tested if this reappearing HCV RNA is infectious. Using an animal model, Barbara Rehermann and colleagues at the NIH found that blood from patients with trace amounts of HCV RNA is able to cause HCV infection, though the animals did not immediately show signs of HCV infection.

This study demonstrates that small amounts of HCV RNA in successfully treated patients can be infectious, but these transmission events may be hard to detect due to delayed onset of disease.

Explore further: Only half newly reported HCV cases receiving follow-up test

More information: Trace amounts of sporadically reappearing HCV RNA can cause infection, J Clin Invest. DOI: 10.1172/JCI73104

Related Stories

Only half newly reported HCV cases receiving follow-up test

May 9, 2013

(HealthDay)—The lack of a hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA test for approximately one-half of persons newly reported as HCV infected suggests that testing and reporting must improve to detect all persons with current infection, ...

Study quantifies prevalence of chronic HCV infection

March 4, 2014

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is about 1 percent, with 2.7 million U.S. residents estimated as having chronic HCV infection, according to a study published in the March 4 issue of the Annals ...

Hepatic decompensation higher with HIV, HCV co-infection

March 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have higher rates of hepatic decompensation than those with HCV monoinfection, according to a study published in the March 18 issue of the Annals of ...

Predicting the outcome of hepatitis C virus treatment

July 1, 2014

Millions of people throughout the world are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and cancer. Directly acting antiviral agents inhibit viral proteins and have been used to successfully ...

Recommended for you

Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs

June 24, 2016

What used to take several weeks is now possible in two days: Thanks to new molecular-based methods, mycobacterial pathogens that cause pulmonary infections or tuberculosis can now be detected much more quickly. Time-consuming ...

Researchers discover how West Nile virus triggers memory loss

June 22, 2016

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered how the most severe forms of West Nile virus cause memory loss and mood disorders, opening the door to potential new treatments for the mosquito-borne ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.