Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16455894
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2006 Feb;44(2):417-22
Trak-C (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics) is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based method capable of quantifying hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen (CA) in serum and could be an alternative to molecular detection and quantification of HCV RNA. We have evaluated the Trak-C assay in comparison with an HCV RNA quantitative assay (Versant HCV v3.0; Bayer Diagnostics) in the follow-up of 348 treated, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV-coinfected patients included in the ANRS HC02 RIBAVIC trial. ANRS HC02 RIBAVIC is a therapeutic, multicenter, randomized protocol comparing the efficacy of alpha interferon 2b (IFN-alpha2b) (3 million units three times a week)-ribavirin (800 mg/day) to that of pegylated IFN-alpha2b (1.5 mug/kg of body weight/week)-ribavirin (800 mg/day) during 48 weeks of treatment of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients naïve to HCV treatment. Patients were assessed for virological analysis at day 0 and weeks 4, 12, 24, 48, and 72. Correlation of HCV RNA and HCV CA at the initiation of treatment was excellent (r = 0.92). HCV RNA and CA kinetics were similar during follow-up of HCV treatment from day 0 to week 72 whatever the group of response and genotype. The positive and negative predictive values of response to the treatment at week 4 were 59 and 94%, respectively, for HCV RNA load reduction of >2 log and 54 and 94%, respectively, for HCV CA below the threshold value (4.18 log(10) pg/ml . 10(4)). Trak-C, a new assay able to quantify CA in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, correlates well with quantitative HCV RNA assays and is cheaper and easier to perform than molecular technology. HCV CA could be a valuable alternative test for therapeutic follow-up of coinfected patients treated with IFN plus ribavirin in developing countries.