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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Aug 21;13(31):4224-9.

Spontaneous elimination of hepatitis C virus infection: a retrospective study on demographic, clinical, and serological correlates.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Endocrinology, Georg-August-Universitat, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, Gottingen 37075, Germany.



To find correlates to spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, this study compared individuals with self-limited and chronic infection with regard to clinical, demographic, and serological parameters.


Sixty-seven anti-HCV positive and repeatedly HCV RNA negative individuals were considered to have resolved HCV infection spontaneously. To determine the viral genotype these patients had been infected with HCV serotyping was performed. For comparison reasons, 62 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled. Cases and controls were compared stratified for age and sex.


Retrospective analysis showed (1) a lower humoral reactivity to HCV in patients with self-limited compared to chronic HCV-infection and (2) that younger age, history of iv drug use, and acute/post-acute hepatitis A or B co-infections, but not viral genotypes, are independent correlates for spontaneous HCV clearance.


The stronger humoral reactivity to HCV in patients with persistent infections and in those with a history of iv drug use is supposed to be due to continuous or repeated contact(s) to the antigen. Metachronous hepatitis A or hepatitis B infections might favor HCV clearance.

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