Therapy-induced antibodies against the antiviral and antiproliferative effects of interferons in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Erzsébet Bálint, Márta Bakay, Klára Ónody, F. Farkas, G. Horváth, G. Y. Tolvaj, K. Dávid, Margit Horányi, Ilona Béládi

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Sera from 86 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection treated with recombinant interferons-α (rIFN-α) were screened for IFN-binding and antiviral effect-neutralizing antibodies. Out of the 61 patients treated with rIFN-α2b, 46% had binding and 28% had neutralizing antibodies. 44% of the 25 patients treated with rIFN-α2a developed binding antibodies and 24% had neutralizing antibodies. Contradictory data were observed concerning the appearance of anti-IFN antibodies and the outcome of IFN therapy. A significantly higher number of the patients with a sustained response to rIFN-α2b therapy formed antibodies than the number among the non-responder patients. At the same time, in the patients treated with rIFN-α2a, opposite data were found. The activity of the antibodies in some sera was studied against the anti-proliferative effect of IFNs on Daudi cells by measuring the [3H]thymidine incorporation. The binding antibodies without neutralization of the antiviral effect of the IFNs inhibited the antiproliferative activity of the rIFNs, similarly to antibodies having both IFN-binding and antiviral effect-neutralizing capacities. At the same time, the anti-proliferative effect of the natural IFN was less affected. It is suggested that the antiproliferative assay is more sensitive than the antiviral method for demonstration of the presence of antibodies exerting an inhibitory effect on the biological activities of IFN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalActa microbiologica et immunologica Hungarica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004



  • Anti-interferon antibodies
  • Antiviral and antiproliferative effects of interferon
  • Chronic hepatitis C virus infection
  • Natural and recombinant interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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