Testing for Hepatitis C:Recent clinical trials indicate that today, a combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and Ribavirin is the treatment of choice for patients with chronic hepatitis C.However, the usefulness of HCV Core Ag testing for monitoring virologic response during and after this new treatment regimen remains to be confirmed.
To study the correlation between total Hepatitis C virus (HCV) Core antigen (Ag) and HCV-RNA, and to assess the proficiency of HCV Core Ag testing in monitoring and predicting virologic response during and after pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin combination therapy.
The determination of total HCV Core Ag levels in serum, constitutes an accurate and reliable alternative to HCV-RNA for monitoring and predicting treatment outcome in patients receiving PEG-IFN/Ribavirin combination therapy.
Baseline viral load levels and infecting genotype help to predict the outcome of therapy and influence the choice of the therapeutic regimen. In the present study, we studied in a clinical setting the correlation between total HCV Core antigen (Ag) and HCV-RNA, and assessed the proficiency of HCV Core Ag testing to monitor and predict virologic response during and after PEG-IFN and ribavirin combination therapy.