Background:World Health Organization has called for research into predictive factors for selecting persons who could be successfully treated with shorter durations of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for hepatitis C. We evaluated early virological response as a means of shortening treatment and explored host, viral and pharmacokinetic contributors to treatment outcome.Methods:Duration of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir (SOF/DCV) was determined according to day 2 (D2) virologic response for HCV genotype (gt) 1- or 6-infected adults in Vietnam with mild liver disease. Participants received 4- or 8-week treatment according to whether D2 HCV RNA was above or below 500 IU/ml (standard duration is 12 weeks). Primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR12). Those failing therapy were retreated with 12 weeks SOF/DCV. Host IFNL4 genotype and viral sequencing was performed at baseline, with repeat viral sequencing if virological rebound was observed. Levels of SOF, its inactive metabolite GS-331007 and DCV were measured on days 0 and 28.Results:Of 52 adults enrolled, 34 received 4 weeks SOF/DCV, 17 got 8 weeks and 1 withdrew. SVR12 was achieved in 21/34 (62%) treated for 4 weeks, and 17/17 (100%) treated for 8 weeks. Overall, 38/51 (75%) were cured with first-line treatment (mean duration 37 days). Despite a high prevalence of putative NS5A-inhibitor resistance-associated substitutions (RASs), all first-line treatment failures cured after retreatment (13/13). We found no evidence treatment failure was associated with host IFNL4 genotype, viral subtype, baseline RAS, SOF or DCV levels.Conclusions:Shortened SOF/DCV therapy, with retreatment if needed, reduces DAA use in patients with mild liver disease, while maintaining high cure rates. D2 virologic response alone does not adequately predict SVR12 with 4-week treatment.Funding:Funded by the Medical Research Council (Grant MR/P025064/1) and The Global Challenges Research 70 Fund (Wellcome Trust Grant 206/296/Z/17/Z).
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