Presence of Rheumatoid Factor during Chronic HCV Infection Is Associated with Expansion of Mature Activated Memory B-Cells that Are Hypo-Responsive to B-Cell Receptor Stimulation and Persist during the Early Stage of IFN Free Therapy.

Approximately half of those with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have circulating rheumatoid factor (RF), and a portion of these individuals develop cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. B cell phenotype/function in relation to RF in serum has been unclear. We examined B cell subset distribution, activation state (CD86), cell cycle state (Ki67), and ex… CONTINUE READING