Lack of hepatitis C virus reinfection in lifetime of Japanese general population with previous hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection successfully treated with anti-HCV therapy

Published:August 18, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiac.2021.08.018

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Achieving sustained virologic response (SVR) to antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important step for eliminating HCV infection worldwide. However, recurrence of HCV viremia may occur due to HCV reinfection and confirmation of the long-term absence of HCV viremia, i.e., the absence of HCV reinfection, is necessary in post-SVR patients. In this report, we studied the long-term results of serum HCV RNA measurements in patients with SVR in whom serum HCV RNA was monitored over decades.

      Methods

      Serum HCV RNA was measured at every visit in a total of 1,392 SVR patients who underwent regular visits to the hospital after SVR, of whom 434 patients (31.2%) had continued regular visits for more than 10 years.

      Results

      No patients demonstrated positive serum HCV RNA during follow-up after SVR with a total of 23,187 HCV RNA tests.

      Conclusions

      This study confirmed the absence of reinfection with HCV in Japanese general population with SVR for decades. Once HCV had been eradicated by anti-HCV therapy, HCV infection rarely recurs even in a lifetime in Japan, unless patients are in high risk group of HCV infection and drop out for follow-up.

      Keywords

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