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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immunization with surface antigen vaccine alone and after treatment with 1-(2-fluoro-5-methyl-beta-L-arabinofuranosyl)-uracil (L-FMAU) breaks humoral and cell-mediated immune tolerance in chronic woodchuck hepatitis virus infection.

Woodchucks chronically infected with the woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) were treated with the antiviral drug 1-(2-fluoro-5-methyl-beta-L-arabinofuranosyl)-uracil (L-FMAU) or placebo for 32 weeks. Half the woodchucks in each group then received four injections of surface antigen vaccine during the next 16 weeks. Vaccination alone elicited a low-level antibody response to surface antigen in most carriers but did not affect serum WHV DNA and surface antigen. Carriers treated first with L-FMAU to reduce serum WHV DNA and surface antigen and then vaccinated had a similar low-level antibody response to surface antigen. Following vaccinations, cell-mediated immunity to surface antigen was demonstrated in both groups, independent of serum viral and antigen load, but was significantly enhanced in woodchucks treated with L-FMAU and was broadened to include other viral antigens (core, e, and x antigens and selected core peptides). Cell-mediated immunity and antibody responses to surface antigen were observed after drug discontinuation in half of the carriers that received L-FMAU alone. Surface antigen vaccine alone or in combination with drug broke humoral and cell-mediated immune tolerance in chronic WHV infection, but the combination with drug was more effective. This suggested that a high viral and antigen load in carriers is important in maintaining immunologic tolerance during chronicity. The humoral and cellular immunity associated with the combination of L-FMAU and vaccine resembled that observed in self-limited WHV infection. Such combination therapy represents a potentially useful approach to the control of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in humans.[1]


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