Egypt is one of the largest epidemic areas of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the world. Its prevalent genotype is 4 with a majority of subtype 4a. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new direct-acting antiviral drug (sofosbuvir) to treat patients with chronic HCV infection. In Egypt, the patients are already being treated with sofosbuvir in conjunction with ribavirin and pegylated interferon alfa-2a (PEG-IFNα-2a) for 12 weeks since 2015. The present study was planned to explain the efficacy of this treatment regimen against the HCV genotype 4a in Egyptian patients and its pretreatment predictive factors of virological response.
In this population-based study, serum samples were biochemically analyzed and the HCV RNA levels were quantified. The direct sequencing and bioinformatics analysis were utilized to investigate the mutation of the core protein.
The sustained virological response (SVR) and non-SVR were 72% and 16% respectively, but the nonvirological response was only 12% following the treatment regimen. The multivariable analysis recognized viral (level of viremia and substitution of aa70) and host-related factors (age, alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels) affecting the virological response in patients infected with high viral load of HCV 4a.
Overall, these results concluded that sofosbuvir with ribavirin and PEG-IFNα-2a are highly efficient in HCV-4a Egyptian patients where a high SVR was achieved (72%). In addition to this, there is a significant association between core protein mutations and treatment outcome predominantly at amino acid position 70 (Arg or Gln).
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Accepted: December 27, 2017
Received: July 16, 2017
☆The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest to disclose.
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