(HealthDay News) — Direct-acting antiviral prophylaxis is safe and prevents chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after kidney transplantation from HCV-infected donors to noninfected recipients, according to a study published online March 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Christine M. Durand, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed the tolerability and feasibility of using direct-acting antivirals (grazoprevir and elbasvir) as prophylaxis before and after kidney transplant from HCV-infected donors to non-HCV-infected recipients (HCV D+/R transplant). The study included 10 HCV D+/R kidney transplant candidates who were older than 50 years and had no available living kidney donors.

The researchers found that there were no treatment-related adverse events among the 10 HCV D+/R transplant recipients. Twelve weeks after treatment, no HCV RNA was detected in any recipient.

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“If confirmed in larger studies, this strategy should markedly expand organ options and reduce mortality for kidney transplant candidates without HCV infection,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., which partially funded the study.


  1. Durand CM, Bowring MG, Brown DM, et al. Direct-acting antiviral prophylaxis in kidney transplantation from hepatitis C virus—Infection donors to noninfected recipients: An open-label nonrandomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2018 March 6. doi:10.7326/M17-2871