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Impact of HIV and antiretroviral therapy on Hepatitis C virus (HCV) evolution and on HCV-specific cellular immunity

English title Impact of HIV and antiretroviral therapy on Hepatitis C virus (HCV) evolution and on HCV-specific cellular immunity
Applicant Furrer Hansjakob
Number 116862
Funding scheme Project funding (special)
Research institution Klinik und Poliklinik für Infektiologie Inselspital
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Infectious Diseases
Start/End 01.06.2007 - 31.05.2010
Approved amount 153'598.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Infectious Diseases
Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology

Keywords (7)

Hepatitis C virus; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; cellular immunity; viral evolution; viral escape; Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Background: Chronic hepatitis C is a leading cause of death in HIV-infected individuals. In the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, around one third of HIV-infected individuals are also infected with the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). The liver damage through HCV is particularly severe in HIV infected individuals. The current treatment strategies have important side effects and the virus cannot be eradicated in the majority of cases. The reasons for the detrimental effects of HIV on Hepatitis C are poorly understood. It is also poorly understood, whether the immune recovery through treating HIV influences the evolution of HCV and of HCV specific immune responses.Aims: We aim to investigate the influence of HIV and of HIV-therapy on HCV. Specifically, we want to analyse, whether the loss of immune control in untreated HIV-infection leads to changes in the viral sequence and to a less effective control through cellular immunity and whether these changes explain some of the harmful effects of HIV on HCV. We also aim to analyse, whether improving the cellular immunity by treating HIV also improves the HCV specific immunity and whether HCV adapts to improving immune responses.Methods: We will study longitudinally the evolution of HCV and of HCV specific immune responses in around 150 participants of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. The longitudinal design allows to study the influence of HIV and of HIV-therapy on HCV in single individuals over time.Significance: This study will contribute to our current knowledge of HCV evolution and of the dynamics of Hepatitis C specific immunity during untreated and treated HIV infection. Understanding the host-viral interactions is the basis for the prediction of the course of HCV infection and for an optimized timing of antiviral therapies. In a broader context, this study allows to study the impact of a changing immunological environment on host-viral interactions.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
134277 Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) 01.01.2011 Cohort Studies Large
141234 Pharmacologie clinique et pharmacogénétique de la prise en charge complexe des sujets infectés par HIV ou co-infectés par HIV et HCV 01.04.2012 Project funding (special)
136737 Acute and chronic dynamics of HIV and HCV infections, within-host evolution and epidemiological outcomes 01.10.2011 Ambizione
146143 Understanding and Predicting the Hepatitis C Epidemic in HIV-infected Patients 01.05.2013 Project funding (special)
148522 Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) 01.01.2014 Cohort Studies Large