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Impact of a treatment as prevention strategy on hepatitis C virus transmission and on morbidity in people who inject drugs

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      Abstract

      Background: Highly effective direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens (90% efficacy) are becoming available for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. This therapeutic revolution leads us to consider possibility of eradicating the virus. However, for this, an effective cascade of care is required. Methods: In the context of the incoming DAAs, we used a dynamic individual-based model including a model of the people who inject drugs (PWID) social network to simulate the impact of improved testing, linkage to care, and adherence to treatment, and of modified treatment recommendation on the transmission and on the morbidity of HCV in PWID in France. Results: Under the current incidence and cascade of care, with treatment initiated at fibrosis stage \(\ge\)F2, the HCV prevalence decreased from 42.8% to 24.9% [95% confidence interval 24.8%--24.9%] after 10 years. Changing treatment initiation criteria to treat from F0 was the only intervention leading to a substantial additional decrease in the prevalence, which fell to 11.6% [11.6%--11.7%] at 10 years. Combining this change with improved testing, linkage to care, and adherence to treatment decreased HCV prevalence to 7% [7%--7.1%] at 10 years and avoided 15.3% [14.0%-16.6%] and 29.0% [27.9%--30.1%] of cirrhosis complications over 10 and 40 years respectively. Conclusion: A high decrease in viral transmission occurs only when treatment is initiated before liver disease progresses to severe stages, suggesting that systematic treatment in PWID, where incidence remains high, would be beneficial. However, eradication will be difficult to achieve.

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      Most cited references 28

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      The structure and function of complex networks

       M. Newman (2003)
      Inspired by empirical studies of networked systems such as the Internet, social networks, and biological networks, researchers have in recent years developed a variety of techniques and models to help us understand or predict the behavior of these systems. Here we review developments in this field, including such concepts as the small-world effect, degree distributions, clustering, network correlations, random graph models, models of network growth and preferential attachment, and dynamical processes taking place on networks.
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        Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection.

        Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver disease worldwide and a potential cause of substantial morbidity and mortality in the future. The complexity and uncertainty related to the geographic distribution of HCV infection and chronic hepatitis C, determination of its associated risk factors, and evaluation of cofactors that accelerate its progression, underscore the difficulties in global prevention and control of HCV. Because there is no vaccine and no post-exposure prophylaxis for HCV, the focus of primary prevention efforts should be safer blood supply in the developing world, safe injection practices in health care and other settings, and decreasing the number of people who initiate injection drug use.
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          Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir for untreated HCV genotype 1 infection.

          In phase 2 studies, treatment with the all-oral combination of the nucleotide polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir and the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir resulted in high rates of sustained virologic response among previously untreated patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection. We conducted a phase 3, open-label study involving previously untreated patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to receive ledipasvir and sofosbuvir in a fixed-dose combination tablet once daily for 12 weeks, ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks, ledipasvir-sofosbuvir for 24 weeks, or ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 24 weeks. The primary end point was a sustained virologic response at 12 weeks after the end of therapy. Of the 865 patients who underwent randomization and were treated, 16% had cirrhosis, 12% were black, and 67% had HCV genotype 1a infection. The rates of sustained virologic response were 99% (95% confidence interval [CI], 96 to 100) in the group that received 12 weeks of ledipasvir-sofosbuvir; 97% (95% CI, 94 to 99) in the group that received 12 weeks of ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin; 98% (95% CI, 95 to 99) in the group that received 24 weeks of ledipasvir-sofosbuvir; and 99% (95% CI, 97 to 100) in the group that received 24 weeks of ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin. No patient in either 12-week group discontinued ledipasvir-sofosbuvir owing to an adverse event. The most common adverse events were fatigue, headache, insomnia, and nausea. Once-daily ledipasvir-sofosbuvir with or without ribavirin for 12 or 24 weeks was highly effective in previously untreated patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. (Funded by Gilead Sciences; ION-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01701401.).
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            Journal
            1506.02987

            Evolutionary Biology

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