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Long-Term Benefit of DAAs on Gut Dysbiosis and Microbial Translocation

Long-term effect of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) on gut microbiota, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and microbial translocation in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who achieve sustained virological response (SVR) were limited. A longitudinal study of 50 patients with HCV monoinfection and 19 patients with HCV/HIV coinfection received DAAs were conducted. Fecal specimens collected at baseline and at week 72 after treatment completion (FUw72) were analyzed for 16S rRNA sequencing and the butyryl-CoA:acetateCoA transferase (BCoAT) gene expression using real-time PCR. Plasma lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) and intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) were quantified by ELISA assays. SVR rates in mono- and coinfected patients were comparable (94% vs. 100%). The improvement of gut dysbiosis and microbial translocation was found in responders but was not in non-responders. Among responders, significant restoration of alpha-diversity, BCoAT and LBP were observed in HCV patients with low-grade fibrosis (F0–F1), while HCV/HIV patients exhibited partial improvement at FUw72. I-FABP did not decline significantly in responders. Treatment induced microbiota changes with increasing abundance of SCFAs-producing bacteria, including Blautia, Fusicatenibacter, Subdoligranulum and Bifidobacterium. In conclusion, long-term effect of DAAs impacted the restoration of gut dysbiosis and microbial translocation. However, early initiation of DAAs required for an alteration of gut microbiota, enhanced SCFAs-producing bacteria, and could reduce HCV-related complications.

Access full study results, published in Scientific Reports, here.