Clinical utility of hepatitis C virus core antigen assay in the monitoring of direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C

Sheng Feng Lin, Shui Yi Tung, Kuo Liang Wei, Chien Hung Chen, Tsung Hui Hu, Chien Heng Shen, Te Sheng Chang, Wei Ming Chen, Chih Wei Yen, Jing Houng Wang, Chao Hung Hung*, Sheng Nan Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Hepatitis C virus core antigen (HCV Ag) assay has been proposed as a more economical alternative to HCV RNA detection. This study aimed to investigate the clinical utility of HCV Ag assay in the monitoring of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for chronic hepatitis C patients. Methods We analyzed serum samples from 110 patients treated with paritaprevir/ritonavir, ombitasvir, and dasabuvir (PrOD) with or without ribavirin. The levels for both HCV Ag and HCV RNA assessed by COBAS TaqMan HCV (CTM) Test or Abbott RealTime HCV (ART) assay were evaluated at baseline, week 2, 4, and 12 during treatment and 12 weeks after completion. Results Baseline HCV Ag levels showed good correlations with HCV viral load (r = 0.879; p<0.001); whereas the correlation was slightly stronger with CTM test than with ART assay (p = 0.074). The concordance of HCV Ag and HCV RNA undetectability was significantly better in CTM test than in ART assay at week 2 (p = 0.003) and week 4 (p = 0.003). A sustained viral response 12 weeks off therapy (SVR12) was achieved in 108 patients (98%); the HCV Ag assay identified 99% of these patients. Both undetectability of serum HCV Ag and HCV RNA had high positive predictive value at week 2 (98% vs. 100%) and at week 4 (97% vs. 99%) in predicting SVR12. Conclusions HCV Ag assay may be a feasible alternative to HCV RNA for the determination of SVR12 in patients treated with DAAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0229994
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Lin et al.

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