Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C Prophylaxis in Percutaneous Exposure and Acute Hepatitis C

Dewi Martalena, Juferdy Kurniawan


Incidence of percutaneous exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV) is still quite high, particularly in medical staffs. Though not all will cause infection, but if acute HCV infection occurs, it usually develops into chronic hepatitis which finally causes cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Untill now, there is no standard method either in regiments, administration time, or duration of administration to prevent HCV infection after exposure occurs, as well as the use of antiviral therapy in acute HCV. HCV therapy target is viral eradication, thus the therapy response is defined using virological parameter than clinical parameter. Different from hepatitis B virus (HBV), immunoglobulin administration after exposure to HCV is not recommended as it is not proven to prevent transmission, similarly with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) or interferon (IFN) administration. In addition, several studies concluded that risk of HCV transmission after percutaneous exposure is low, therefore regular strict monitoring (monthly in the first 16 weeks after exposure) to clinical and laboratory results (HCV-RNA, alanine aminotransferase) is more required, so that detection and early treatment to acute HCV can be performed, considering that several studies showed that early monotherapy using IFN/PEG-IFN in acute HCV could reach quite high sustained virological response (SVR).
hepatitis C, post exposure prophylaxis, acute infection treatment

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