Chronic hepatitis C: Autoantibodies and their correlation to HCV genotype and viraemia

Hippokratia 1998, 2(4):179-182

A. Karantana, Z. Tsimtsiou, E. Giza, S. Christodoulou, A. Lita, I. Mavroudi, E. Orfanou, M. Raptopoulou – Gigi


Infection with hepatitis C virus has been found to enhance autoimmune responses and is associated with the presence of various autoantibodies in serum. This study was scheduled in order to investigate the correlation of serum autoantibodies to HCV genotype and viremia. Twenty-six patients with a mean age of 34.2 years participated in the study. The following parameters were tested: ANA, ???, ASMA (indirect immunofluorescence Hep-2), anti-LKM-1(ELISA), Sm, Sm/RNP, SSA, SSB, Jo-1 and Scl 70 (ELISA), cryoglobulins (qualitative assessment), HCV-RNA (quantitative PCR), HCV genotype (INNOLIPA). Our findings showed that 8 patients (30.76%) had positive ANA, 6 had ??? (23.08%), ASMA 1(3,85%), SSA 1(3,85%), SSB 2(7,69%), Sm 2(7,69%), Sm/RNP 2(7,69%) and cryoglobulins 2(7,69%). The anti-LKM-1 was not detected in any of the patients. The most common genotype was found to be 3a; this is probably due to the fact that most patients were ex-drug addicts. No correlation among positive autoantibodies and HCV genotype or viral load was noticed. These results suggest that hepatitis C virus per se induces autoimmune responses and that the enhancement of these responses is not directly related to the genotype or the levels of HCVRNA.