Background: In patients with advanced fibrosis, primary end points of long-term or possibly indefinite antiviral therapy are sustained inhibition of viral replication and avoidance of emergence of resistance. In lamivudine-treated patients, the strongest predictor of emergence of YMDD mutations is baseline hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA viral load. We aimed to verify whether abatement of viraemia by a short course of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN-?2a) treatment before lamivudine treatment could prevent the emergence of lamivudine-associated mutations during long-term therapy. Methods: A total of 14 patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative infection (3 lamivudine-experienced and 11 lamivudine-naive), with moderate/high viraemia (106 copies/ml) and with Ishak stage 4–6 at liver biopsy were sequentially treated with 180 ?g PEG-IFN-?2a for a period long enough to reach HBV DNA levels ?103 copies/ml or have a decrease of 3 log10 copies/ml from baseline. Lamivudine was then added to PEG-IFN-?2a treatment for 1 month and finally continued as monotherapy for 2 years or until viral breakthrough. Results: Baseline HBV DNA (mean ±se 2.3×107 ±7.2×107 copies/ml) decreased with PEG-IFN-?2a treatment to target value in mean ±se 3.7 ±1.3 months. None of the 11 lamivudine-naive patients developed genotypic resistance and were still HBV-DNA-negative after a mean ±se observation period of 23 ±2 months, whereas the three lamivudine-experienced patients developed YMDD mutations after 6, 9 and 12 months of lamivudine monotherapy (P=0.003, Fisher’s exact test). Conclusions: In lamivudine-naive patients, abatement of HBV DNA103 copies/ml by pretreatment with PEG-IFN-?2a completely prevents the emergence of YMDD mutants after 24 months of lamivudine monotherapy. This sequential schedule can optimize the use of a well tolerated, effective and inexpensive drug, such as lamivudine, in highly viraemic HBV patients.
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|Titolo:||PRETREATMENT WITH PEGYLATED INTERFERON PREVENTS EMERGENCE OF LAMIVUDINE MUTANTS IN LAMIVUDINE NAIVE PATIENTS|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|