Low Efficacy of Pegylated Interferon plus Ribavirin plus Nitazoxanide for HCV Genotype 4 and HIV Coinfection

Juan Macías, Luis F López-Cortés, Francisco Téllez, Eva Recio, Guillermo Ojeda-Burgos, Maria José Ríos, Antonio Rivero-Juárez, Marcial Delgado, Rivas-Jeremías, Juan A Pineda
PloS One 2015, 10 (12): e0143492

BACKGROUND: Nitazoxanide (NTZ) plus pegylated interferon and ribavirin (Peg-IFN/RBV) improved the sustained virological response (SVR) achieved with Peg-IFN/RBV in hepatitis C virus genotype 4 (HCV-4)-monoinfected patients. There are no data currently on the efficacy of Peg-IFN/RBV plus NTZ for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV-4 coinfection. Therefore, the objectives of this clinical trial were to assess the efficacy and to evaluate the safety of Peg-IFN/RBV plus NTZ in HIV/HCV-4-coinfected patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was an open-label, single arm, multicenter phase II pilot clinical trial (NCT01529073) enrolling HIV-infected individuals with HCV-4 chronic infection, naïve to HCV therapy. Patients were treated with NTZ 500 mg bid for 4 weeks, followed by NTZ 500 mg bid plus Peg-IFN alpha-2b 1.5 μg/kg/week plus weight-adjusted RBV during 48 weeks. Analyses were done by intention-to-treat (ITT, missing = failure). A historical cohort of HIV/HCV-4-infected patients treated with Peg-IFN alpha-2b and RBV at the same area was used as control.

RESULTS: Two (9.5%) of 21 patients included in the trial compared with 5 (21.7%) of 23 patients included in the historical cohort achieved SVR (SVR risk difference, -12.2%; 95% confidence interval, -33.2% to 8.8%; p = 0.416). Virological failure was due to lack of response in 13 (62%) individuals recruited in the trial. Two (9.5%) patients included in the trial and two (9.5%) individuals from the historical cohort discontinued permanently due to adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: No increase in SVR was observed among HIV/HCV-4-coinfected patients receiving Peg-IFN/RBV plus NTZ compared with a historical cohort treated with Peg-IFN/RBV. Interruptions due to adverse events of Peg-IFN/RBV plus NTZ were similar to those of dual therapy.


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