Duration and specificity of antibodies to hepatitis C virus in chronic active hepatitis

Albert J. Czaja, Howard F. Taswell, Jorge Rakela, Dale Rabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine the duration and specificity of antibodies to hepatitis C virus in hepatitis B surface antigen-negative chronic active hepatitis, sera from 19 patients seropositive by enzyme immunoassay were assessed by recombinant immunoblot assay Only 12 of the 19 patients were reactive by immunoblot assay (63%). Patients nonreactive by immunoblot assay had lower signal-cutoff ratios by enzyme immunoassay (1.3 ± 0.2 vs. 6.5 ± 0.1; P < 0.05), higher serum immunoglobulin G levels (4082 ± 301 vs. 1760 ± 143 mg/dL; P < 0.05), and higher serum gamma globulin levels (3.3 ± 0.5 vs. 2.04 ± 0.1 g/dL; P < 0.05) than reactive patients. Twelve of 14 patients with serial studies remained seropositive after 39 ± 11 months of follow-up (range, 7-113 months). Only patients nonreactive by immunoblot assay became seronegative by enzyme immunoassay during corticosteroid therapy (2/3 vs. 0/6 patients). It is concluded that seropositivity by enzyme immunoassay may not be documented by immunoblot assay. Patients nonreactive by immunoblot assay have lower signal-cutoff ratios and higher gamma globulin levels than reactive patients, and their seropositivity may be nonspecific. Patients nonreactive by immunoblot assay may lose seropositivity by enzyme immunoassay during corticosteroid therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1679
Number of pages5
JournalGastroenterology
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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