Alterations in Immune Function are Associated with Liver Enzyme Elevation in HIV and HCV Co-infection after Commencement of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

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Abstract

The cause of liver enzyme elevation during combination antiretroviral therapy in people with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus co-infection is unclear. We followed 12 subjects (five with alanine transaminase elevation) for 24 weeks after combination antiretroviral therapy commencement. Immune responses against hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus and other viruses were assessed by interferon-γ ELISpot. Plasma cytokines, chemokines and anti-hepatitis C virus antibody levels were measured. Those with liver enzyme elevation had higher ELISpot responses both against hepatitis C virus non-structural regions and other viral antigens, and their anti-hepatitis C virus antibody levels were consistently higher, suggesting that reconstitution of both hepatitis C virus-specific and non-hepatitis C virus-specific immune responses may be associated with liver transaminase elevation during combination antiretroviral therapy.

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