Adefovir plus Hepatitis C Therapy May Prevent HBV Reactivation in HBV-HCV Coinfected Patients

Due to the similar transmission routes, many people are dually infected with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). While the interaction between these 2 viruses is not fully understood, studies have shown that HBV seems to inhibit HCV replication and vice versa. As such, there is a risk that successful treatment of one virus could potentially lead to worsening or reactivation of the other.

In a brief report in the December 2008 European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, French researchers described a case in which an HBV-HCV coinfected patient was simultaneously treated with both interferon-based therapy for chronic hepatitis C and the FDA-approved anti-HBV drug adefovir (Hepsera).

The authors observed that HBV reactivation as the result of HCV eradication was prevented by treating both viral infections together.

This finding, they concluded, "raises the question as to whether preemptive HBV treatment should be prescribed along with HCV treatment to prevent HBV from being [reactivated] after HCV eradication in coinfected HBV-HCV patients."



C Renou, JF Cadranel, A Pariente, and others. Adefovir combined with hepatitis C virus treatment may prevent hepatitis B reactivation after hepatitis C virus eradication in hepatitis B and C virus carriers. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 20(12):1235-1237. December 2008. (Abstract).