Journal Article

Non—Organ-Specific Autoantibodies in Children with Chronic Hepatitis C: Clinical Significance and Impact on Interferon Treatment

Paolo Murator, Luigi Muratori, Gabriella Verucchi, Luciano Attard, Francesco B. Bianchi and Marco Lenzi

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 37, issue 10, pages 1320-1326
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/379018
Non—Organ-Specific Autoantibodies in Children with Chronic Hepatitis C: Clinical Significance and Impact on Interferon Treatment

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We evaluated the prevalence and clinical significance of non—organ-specific autoantibodies (NOSAs) in 47 hepatitis C virus (HCV)–positive children with abnormal alanine transaminase levels and analyzed the association between NOSAs and virus level, genotype, human leukocyte antigen status, and interferon (IFN) response. Forty-two hepatitis B virus (HBV)–positive children and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy children served as control subjects. NOSAs were found in 34% of the HCV-positive children, 12% of the HBV-positive controls, and none of the healthy control subjects. Liver-kidney microsomal antibody type 1 (LKM1) was detected in 11% of the HCV-positive children but in none of the controls. The HCV load was significantly higher in NOSA-negative than in NOSA-positive children. HCV genotype distribution and human leukocyte antigen alleles were similar, irrespective of NOSA status. Long-term response to IFN therapy was achieved by 18% of the NOSA-positive and 55% of the NOSA-negative subjects. Two LKM1-positive children developed acute, self-limited hepatocellular necrosis while receiving IFN therapy. NOSAs are frequently present in children with hepatitis C, who are less likely to benefit from IFN therapy.

Journal Article.  3781 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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