Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
ATTA, A.M. et al. Antiphospholipid antibodies in Brazilian hepatitis C virus carriers. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.6, pp. 489-492. Epub May 31, 2008. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2008005000024.
Hepatitis C, a worldwide viral infection, is an important health problem in Brazil. The virus causes chronic infection, provoking B lymphocyte dysfunction, as represented by cryoglobulinemia, non-organ-specific autoantibody production, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The aim of this research was to screen for the presence of antiphospholipid autoantibodies in 109 Brazilian hepatitis C virus carriers without clinical history of antiphospholipid syndrome. Forty healthy individuals were used as the control group. IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies against cardiolipin and β2-glycoprotein I were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, using a cut-off point of either 20 UPL or 20 SBU. While 24 (22.0%) hepatitis C carriers had moderate titers of IgM anticardiolipin antibodies (median, 22.5 MPL; 95%CI: 21.5-25.4 MPL), only three carriers (<3%) had IgG anticardiolipin antibodies (median, 23 GPL; 95%CI: 20.5-25.5 GPL). Furthermore, IgA anticardiolipin antibodies were not detected in these individuals. Male gender and IgM anticardiolipin seropositivity were associated in the hepatitis C group (P = 0.0004). IgA anti-β2-glycoprotein-I antibodies were detected in 29 of 109 (27.0%) hepatitis C carriers (median, 41 SAU; 95%CI: 52.7-103.9 SAU). Twenty patients (18.0%) had IgM anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies (median, 27.6 SMU; 95%CI: 23.3-70.3 SMU), while two patients had IgG antibodies against this protein (titers, 33 and 78 SGU). Antiphospholipid antibodies were detected in only one healthy individual, who was seropositive for IgM anticardiolipin. We concluded that Brazilian individuals chronically infected with hepatitis C virus present a significant production of antiphospholipid antibodies, mainly IgA anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies, which are not associated with clinical manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome.
Keywords : Hepatitis C virus; Antiphospholipid antibody; Brazilian patients.