Genetic Variation in Interleukin 28B and Response to Antiviral Therapy in Patients with Dual Chronic Infection with Hepatitis B and C Viruses

>Concurrent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) was not uncommon in China. To date, information on predictors of response to treatment of dually-infected HCV/HBV is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluated whether determination of the interleukin 28B (IL-28B) polymorphism statuses sufficient to predict treatment response of interferon (IFN)-based therapy in patients chronically infected with both hepatitis B and C viruses. We investigated the role of IL28B variations (rs8099917 and rs12979860) in response to IFN-based treatment and evaluated its association with the risk of the null virological response (NVR) in HCV /HBV dually-infected patients. We found that the overall distributions of the genotypes among the sustained virological response (SVR), NVR groups were significantly different (P<0.001): patients with the rs8099917 TG genotype had an increased risk of NVR (odds ratio [OR] =2.37 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.16–4.83, P =0.017), and those with the GG genotype had a further increased risk of NVR (OR=4.23, 95% CI =1.17-15.3, P=0.027). The rs12979860 allele was also highly associated with treatment failure (CT/TT vs. CC; OR =2.04, 95%CI =1.05-3.97, P =0.037). Moreover, we found that IL28B rs8099917 G variants (TG+GG) interact with HCV genotype 1(G1) to result in higher risk of NVR (P=0.009), and that they are also associated with HBV DNA reactivation (TG+GG vs. TT, P=0.005). Furthermore, multivariate regression analysis show that the rs8099917 G allele was the most important factor significantly associated with a NVR in HCV G1 patients. This study suggest that IL28B genotyping may be a valid pretreatment predictor of which patients are likely to respond to treatment in this group of difficult-to-treat HCV/HBV dually-infected patients.

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