Efficacy and Safety of Peginterferon alpha-2a/Ribavirin in Treatment-Naive Cameroonian Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

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Data were examined from a day-to-day clinical practice in Yaounde, Cameroon to evaluate the efficacy and safety of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin in treatment-naive Cameroonian patients with chronic hepatitis C. Ninety adults with chronic hepatitis C (mean age, 53 ± 8 years; 79% males; 37.8% genotype 1; 23.3% genotype 2; and 38.9% genotype 4) were given at least 12 weeks of combination therapy between February 2003 and August 2007. Of these, 54 completed the treatment and the 24-week follow up. Subsequently, 18 continued treatment and 18 (20%) discontinued the treatment, 6 (6.7%) due to adverse effects. An intention-to-treat analysis showed that 38 (52.8%) had an end-of-treatment virologic response and 34 (47.2%) had a sustained virologic response. Sustained virologic response were significantly higher among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 (83.4%) than in those with genotype 1 (31%) or genotype 4 (42.3%) (P< 0.05). Non HCV-2 genotype, pretreatment fibrosis score >2, HCV RNA level >8.0 × 105 IU/ml and a non-virologic response at 12 weeks of treatment were associated with poor sustained virologic response (P<0.05). Thus, HCV can be treated in a Sub-Saharan African country. It indicates that Cameroonian HCV-1 and -4 patients have a poorer sustained virologic response than the published results for Western and Middle-East countries. Virus subtype may influence the treatment outcome, since there is a great genetic diversity within Cameroonian HCV-1 and -4 genotypes.

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