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Hepatology. 2001 Feb;33(2):448-54.

DNA prime/canarypox boost-based immunotherapy of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in a chimpanzee.

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The Laboratory of Virology, the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of The New York Blood Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


There are about 200 million chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers at high risk of development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Termination of the carrier state may avert these risks. We have investigated immunotherapy for chronic HBV infection in a chimpanzee HBV carrier using recombinant DNA-based immunization followed by a recombinant canarypox booster. One week after the booster, HBV DNA declined greater than 400-fold and remained undetectable by the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for 186 weeks. Plasma levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) declined for only a short time. The decline in HBV DNA correlated with a boost in gamma interferon production without a corresponding boost in cytotoxic T lymphocyte levels, and decline in the transcriptional template or covalently closed circular DNA level. Confirmation of these findings requires further studies in chimpanzees and/or in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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