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Induction of multiple autoantibodies to islet cell antigens during treatment with interferon alpha for chronic hepatitis C
  2. C STOLTE,
  3. A GEIER,
  1. Medical Department III
  2. Technical University of Aachen, Germany
  1. H E Wasmuth, Medical Department III, Technical University of Aachen, Pauwelsstraβe 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany.hwasmuth{at}

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Editor,—Induction or augmentation of autoimmunity during the treatment of chronic hepatitis C with interferon alpha is a well known phenomenon and a matter of great concern to physicians involved in the field of viral hepatitis. In recent years there have been a number of reports suggesting a link between the antiviral therapy and the development of antibodies to multiple autoantigens. In a recent issue ofGut, Wesche et al(OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science) described the appearance of antibodies to 21-hydroxylase, an autoantigen of the adrenal cortex, and autoantibodies to glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) and the tyrosine phosphatase IA2 (IA2), both important autoantigens with respect to the pathogenesis of autoimmune (type 1) diabetes. Autoantibodies to GAD65 and IA2 appeared during or after therapy with alpha interferon for chronic hepatitis C in 5/62 and 1/62 patients, respectively. However, …

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