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The relevance between anti‐rods/rings antibody and different treatment regimens in chronic hepatitis C virus infection
Microbiology and Immunology  (IF1.955),  Pub Date : 2021-02-04, DOI: 10.1111/1348-0421.12879
Bilal Olcay Peker, Aslı Gamze Şener, Firdevs Topal, Elif Sarıtaş Yüksel

The antibodies and other issues associated with immunity in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been widely investigated, especially non‐organ‐specific antinuclear antibodies. Rods–rings (RR) antibody patterns are frequently observed due to pegylated IFN‐α (PEG‐IFN)/ribavirin (RBV) treatment by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF). We evaluated the relevance between anti‐RR and PEG‐IFN/RBV and/or direct‐acting antiviral (DAA) regimens in chronic HCV. Sampling was done after achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) for 178 patients (aged >18 years). Patients were grouped according to treatment protocols (Group 1 [G1]: PEG‐IFN/RBV [n = 53], Group 2 [G2]: PEG‐IFN/RBV and Telaprevir or Boceprevir [n = 31], Group 3 [G3]: second‐ and third‐wave DAA and previously received PEG‐IFN/RBV (n = 38), and Group 4 [G4]: second‐ and third‐wave DAA [n = 56]). Anti‐RR was investigated by IIF (Euroimmun AG) test. Overall, 27 (15.16%) patients were anti‐RR positive and received PEG‐IFN/RBV. The numbers of anti‐RR positivity for G1/2/3/4 (%) were 16/3/8/0 (30.2/9.6/21/0), respectively (p < .001). The anti‐RR positivity rate for G1/2/3 was 22.13% (27/122, p = .088). Anti‐RR was positive in 17.5% (11/63) of G1/2/3 patients who did not achieve SVR after the first treatment. This rate was 27.1% (16/59) in patients with SVR after the first treatment in G1/2 and there was no difference between these two classified groups in terms of antibody titers (p = .915). Anti‐RR was detected up to 172 months after SVR. In summary, anti‐RR was positive in high rates in patients receiving PEG‐IFN/RBV therapy. Frequent monitoring is needed during patient follow‐up to get more data on the relationship between anti‐RR titer, treatment regimens, and SVR.