Hepatitis A virus infection suppresses hepatitis C virus replication and may lead to clearance of HCV.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The significance of hepatitis A virus (HAV) super-infection in patients with chronic hepatitis C had been a matter of debate. While some studies suggested an incidence of fulminant hepatitis A of up to 35%, this could not be confirmed by others. METHODS: We identified 17 anti-HCV-positive patients with acute hepatitis A from a cohort of 3170 anti-HCV-positive patients recruited at a single center over a period of 12 years. RESULTS: Importantly, none of the anti-HCV-positive patients had a fulminant course of hepatitis A. HCV-RNA was detected by PCR in 84% of the anti-HCV-positive/anti-HAV-IgM-negative patients but only in 65% of anti-HCV-positive patients with acute hepatitis A (p=0.03), indicating suppression of HCV replication during hepatitis A. Previous HAV infection had no effect on HCV replication. After recovery from hepatitis A, an increased HCV replication could be demonstrated for 6 out of 9 patients with serial quantitative HCV-RNA values available while 2 patients remained HCV-RNA negative after clearance of HAV throughout follow-up of at least 2 years. CONCLUSIONS: HAV super-infection is associated with decreased HCV-RNA replication which may lead to recovery from HCV in some individuals. Fulminant hepatitis A is not frequent in patients with chronic hepatitis C recruited at a tertiary referral center.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Deterding, K; Tegtmeyer, B; Cornberg, M; Hadem, J; Potthoff, A; Böker, KHW; Tillmann, HL; Manns, MP; Wedemeyer, H

Published Date

  • December 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 770 - 778

PubMed ID

  • 17034895

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17034895

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0168-8278

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jhep.2006.07.023


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands