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Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5265
ISSN (Online): 2212-3989

Research Article

Deciphering the Significance of Plasma Chemokines as Prognostic Biomarkers in Pegylated IFN-Α-2a /Ribavirin-Treated Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 4 Patients

Author(s): M. Haroon Hamed, Peter Natesan Pushparaj, Shafiqur Rehman, Saleh Al-Karim, Salem Bazarah and Ishtiaq Qadri*

Volume 22, Issue 5, 2022

Published on: 26 April, 2022

Article ID: e030322201654 Pages: 5

DOI: 10.2174/1871526522666220303142837


Background: Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection is a major clinical burden globally. Pegylated IFN-α-2a (PEG-IFN-α-2a) with ribavirin (RIB) therapy induces an array of cellular antiviral responses, including dsRNA kinases (PKR), chemokines, and cytokines to tackle the HCV infection. However, many HCV patients develop resistance to PEG-IFN/RIB therapy rendering the therapy ineffective.

Objectives: Here, we assess the significance of chemokines in response to PEG-IFN-α-2a with ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RIB) therapy.

Methods: Twenty patients with HCV infection and ten healthy controls were enrolled in this study and patients were categorized into two groups 1), HCV-Responder (HCV-R), and 2) HCV-non-responder (HCV-NR). We analyzed IP-10, MIG, MCP-1, EOTAXIN, RANTES, IL-8, MIP-1a, and MIP-1b by a magnetic bead-based multiplex immunoassay approach based on Luminex X-MAP multiplex technology, using a MAGPIX instrument (Luminex Corporation, USA).

Results: A significant elevation of ALT and AST enzymes was observed in HCV-NR. Besides, the PEG-IFN/RIB therapy in both MIG and MCP-1 in HCV-NR patients was significantly induced. PEGIFN/ RIB therapy significantly increased the levels of chemokines, such as IL-8, IP-10, EOTAXIN, MIG, RANTES, and MIP-1β, in HCV-R, indicating the chemokine response to PEG-IFN/RIB therapy.

Conclusion: Hence, MCP-1 and MIG could be the potential biomarkers in HCV-NR and might be associated with the development of liver fibrosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Limitations: Our study has only twenty samples of PEG-IFN/RIB treated HCV patients. This might be the reason for the lack of association between some of the inflammatory markers evaluated and the SVR, therefore, the association found between the chemokine levels observed in the plasma of HCV-R and HCV-NR and EVR cannot be extrapolated to patients infected with other HCV genotypes.

Keywords: HCV, antiviral treatment, SVR, cytokines, plasma chemokines, prognostic biomarkers.

Graphical Abstract
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