Directly acting antiviral agents inhibit viral proteins and have been used to successfully treat HCV.
Unfortunately, antiviral therapy fails in some patients, resulting in a relapse of HCV.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a marker that can identify patients likely to have an HCV relapse after antiviral therapy.
Shyamasundaran Kottilil and colleagues at the NIH evaluated the immune response of HCV-infected individuals treated with antiviral agents.
Treated patients that had increased expression of type I interferon were more likely to remain HCV-free.
Patients unable to maintain a type I interferon response were more likely to have an HCV relapse.
This study provides a potential marker to identify patients prone to HCV relapse.
Moreover, these results suggest that type I interferon treatment in at-risk patients merits future study.