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Acute Hepatitis C

  • Joop E. ArendsEmail author
  • Maria Cristina Leoni
  • Dominique Salmon-Ceron
Chapter

Abstract

Acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections remain one of the main causes of liver disease worldwide with a varying incidence among different countries. Acute HCV infection classically refers to the first 6 months after exposure to the virus. During recent years, incidence seems to be changing in many countries: lowering rates due to improved case detection and improved prevention of transmission (i.e., unsafe medical procedures) or higher due to emerging of prevalent routes especially among injection drug users and men who have sex with men (MSM). Diagnosis of acute infection could be challenging and is mainly based on serological and molecular assays, since clinical symptoms are not present in most patients. Spontaneous viral clearance occurs in about 25% of individuals, generally in the first 3–6 months of infection due to complex interaction between virus and host, which is only partially understood. HCV reinfections have been described in people who injected drugs (PWID) and MSM who cleared the infection spontaneously or were successfully treated. Treatment of acute HCV is now based on a combination of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) and it seems promising even if clear recommendations regarding optimal regimen and treatment duration are currently unavailable. Data are lacking also on pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis. Implementation of screening, information campaigns, and community awareness together with early treatment could be the strategies to control the spread of HCV infection.

Keywords

Acute HCV Injection drug use (IDU) People who inject drugs (PWID)  Men who have sex with men (MSM) Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joop E. Arends
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Cristina Leoni
    • 2
  • Dominique Salmon-Ceron
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Section Infectious DiseasesUniversity Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Infectious Diseases DepartmentFondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Infectious Diseases Department, Hôtel Dieu HospitalUniversity of ParisParisFrance

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