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Elevated CD4+/CD25+ T cell frequency and function during acute hepatitis C presage chronic evolution
  1. A Perrella1,
  2. L Vitiello2,
  3. L Atripaldi3,
  4. P Conti4,
  5. C Sbreglia5,
  6. S Altamura6,
  7. T Patarino7,
  8. R Vela7,
  9. G Morelli7,
  10. P Bellopede7,
  11. C Alone7,
  12. L Racioppi8,
  13. O Perrella9
  1. 1Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno of Naples, Naples, Italy
  2. 2Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  3. 3Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno of Naples, Naples, Italy
  4. 4Department of Immunology, University G d’Annunzio of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
  5. 5Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno of Naples, Naples, Italy
  6. 6Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  7. 7Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno of Naples, Naples, Italy
  8. 8Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  9. 9Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno of Naples, Naples, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A Perrella
    Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hospital D Cotugno, Via EA Mario 35, 80128, Naples, Italy; alex.perrel{at}virgilio.it

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) determines an acute hepatitis evolving to persistent infection in 50–80% of patients.1 Different mechanisms have been proposed to explain disease evolution, including viral escape, failure of the T helper immune network, and host genetic factors.2 Among CD4+ T cell subsets, lymphocytes expressing constitutively CD25 (interleukin 2 receptor alpha chain), namely T regulatory cells (Treg), appear to play a critical role in controlling chronic evolution of HCV mediated liver diseases.3 Here we investigate the frequency and functional activity of CD3+/CD4+/CD25+ Tregs in acute HCV infection in relation to its evolution over time.

The study was approved by the local ethics committee and included 16 consecutive patients with acute hepatitis C (AHC), 15 consecutive patients with acute hepatitis A (AHA), and …

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