Patients in high-risk groups continue to transmit the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and frequently experience reinfections. Since little is known regarding the immune response to HCV during reinfection, we compared primary and consecutive acute HCV infections in patients with an HIV infection, and focused on the cytokine bridging innate to adaptive immunity. We observed that the serum levels of IL-12p40, MIP-1β, MIG and IP-10 increased during primary acute HCV infection, but not during subsequent secondary acute reinfections. The weaker pro-inflammatory cytokine responses observed during HCV reinfections suggest more limited secondary acute immune responses, which may prevent damage to the infected liver.

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Journal of General Virology
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Hullegie, S., Arends, J., Groothuismink, Z., Pas, S., Rijnders, B., Boonstra, A., & Claassen, M. (2017). Decreased pro-inflammatory immune responses during recurrent acute HCV infections in HIV co-infected patients. Journal of General Virology, 98(6), 1294–1298. doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000768