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Effect of season and sunlight on viral kinetics during hepatitis C virus therapy

AuthorsHernández-Álvarez, Noemi; Pascasio, Juan Manuel; Quintero, Enrique; Fernández Vázquez, Inmaculada; García-Eliz, María; Revilla Negro, Juan de la; Crespo García, Javier; Hernández-Guerra, Manuel
Issue Date2017
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
CitationBMJ Open Gastroenterology 4(1): e000115 (2017)
AbstractBackground and aims] Rapid viral response (RVR) during antiviral treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) predicts sustained viral response (SVR). Recently, vitamin D levels have been associated with SVR. As sunlight is the most important source of vitamin D and shows seasonal variation, we evaluated the effect of season on viral kinetics during peginterferon/ribavirin-based therapy for HCV.
[Methods] Consecutive HCV patients treated with peginterferon/ribavirin and boceprevir/ telaprevir (June 2011–July 2014) were included. Patients were grouped according to season when therapy was initiated (Season A: May–October and Season B: November–April) depending on hours of daily sunlight. Multiple logistic regression analysis included factors known to influence SVR to treatment. The dependent variables were undetectable viral load (VL) or VL ≤15 UI/mL (VL ≤15) at weeks 4, 8 and 12, end of treatment and SVR.
[Results] The study included 930 patients (66.8% men; median 54 years) treated with telaprevir (n=537) or boceprevir, without (n=481) or with lead-in therapy of peginterferon/ribavirin. Baseline characteristics of patients in Season A (45.3%, n=421) and Season B groups were similar. Overall, a higher rate of RVR (23.5% vs 16.1%, p=0.005) and VL ≤15 (51.0% vs 38.6%, p≤0.001) was observed in patients starting treatment during Season A versus Season B. By logistic regression analysis, initiating treatment in Season A proved to be an independent predictor of RVR and VL ≤15.
[Conclusions] In our setting, seasonality affects viral kinetics in HCV genotype 1 patients treated with peginterferon/ribavirin-based therapy. Our findings support the hypothesis that vitamin D influences viral response to peginterferon/ribavirin-based therapy.
DescriptionHepatiC Registry
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgast-2016-000115
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