Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, 1996, 44, 11

Natural Human Interferon a May Act Differently When Given Parenterally or Orally to Patients Chronically Infected with Hepatitis B Virus


Abstract. A literature review of patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) treated with natural human interferon a (nHuIFN-a ) given parenterally every day for 28 days revelated that even the daily dose of (5 x 106 IU) of IFN-a inhibits cellular metabolism. As a result of metabolic block, the number of blood elements were diminished. Furthermore treated patients recorded several different adverse reactions. In cont- rast, among patients treated with the oral form of nHuIFN-a no metabolic block occurred and no adverse reactions were seen, even though the therapy lasted much longer. Two years after initiation of parenteral IFN-a therapy, the loss of HBV-BeAg was 53.8% and 28.8% of the patients had undergone seroconversion. In contrast, 77% of patients on oral interferon lost HBV-BeAg and 74% serconverted and normalized their biochemical liver function. The results suggest that the nHuIFN-a given orally and parenterally activate two different mechanisms responsible for virus elimination.

Keywords: interferon alpha (IFN-a ); cytokines; mode of action; chronic active hepatitis; oral form of IFN-a ; treatment of hepatitis B.