Successful DAA therapy for chronic hepatitis C reduces HLA-DR on monocytes and circulating immune mediators: A long-term follow-up study

Immunol Lett. 2020 Dec:228:15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2020.09.002. Epub 2020 Sep 15.


Introduction: After DAA treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection, peripheral monocyte subsets from patients who achieved sustained virological response (SVR) reduced compared to healthy control. Improvement in inflammatory parameters and liver stiffness has been observed. However, little is known about the long-term impact of DAA treatment on peripheral monocyte subsets and immune mediators levels.

Objectives: We aimed to examine peripheral monocyte subsets and immune mediators levels in Brazilian chronic HCV patients after long-term successful IFN-free SOF-based treatment.

Material and methods: We analyzed CD14++CD16-, CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocytes and 27 immune mediators by flow cytometry and analysis of multiple secreted proteins assay, respectively, in monoinfected chronic HCV patients receiving IFN-free sofosbuvir-based regimens followed before treatment, at SVR and one year after the end of treatment (1y).

Results: Twenty-one biomarkers decreased significantly at 1y and 55-80 % of patients this reduction at 1y. Experimented patients presented a greater modulation of immune mediators at 1y. HLA-DR expression significantly decreased on CD14++CD16- and CD14++CD16+ monocytes at 1y when compared to SVR.

Conclusions: Successful DAA therapy did not modify monocyte subsets frequency but reduced monocyte activation at 1y and sustained the downregulation and restoration of circulating immune mediators, indicating that long-term reversal of inflammation status could occur after HCV eradication.

Keywords: Antiviral agents; Chronic hepatitis C; Inflammation; Liver injury; Monocytes; Response; Sustained virological.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brazil
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HLA-DR Antigens / metabolism*
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Monocytes / virology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sofosbuvir / adverse effects
  • Sofosbuvir / therapeutic use*
  • Sustained Virologic Response
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Sofosbuvir