Development of anti-interferon antibodies and breakthrough hepatitis during treatment for HCV infection in haemophiliacs.
Hanley JP., Jarvis LM., Simmonds P., Ludlam CA.
The development of anti-interferon antibodies may lead to treatment failure during interferon therapy. We have studied the development of such antibodies in a group of 39 haemophiliacs receiving interferon-alpha 2a for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Anti-interferon antibodies developed in five (13%) patients and were associated with "breakthrough hepatitis' in three cases. There was an association between the development of anti-interferon antibodies and infection with HCV genotype 3a (P = 0.01). This study suggests that the development of anti-interferon antibodies may lead to treatment failure in a proportion of haemophiliacs with HCV infection. The association with genotype 3a has not previously been reported. Monitoring for the development of breakthrough hepatitis due to anti-interferon antibodies may provide the opportunity to develop strategies to overcome their effects.