IL28B polymorphism genotyping as predictor of rapid virologic response during interferon plus ribavirin treatment in hepatitis C virus genotype 1 patients

Chiara Rosso, Maria Lorena Abate, Alessia Ciancio, Silvia Strona, Gian Paolo Caviglia, Antonella Olivero, Giovanni Antonio Touscoz, Mario Rizzetto, Rinaldo Pellicano, Antonina Smedile
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2014 September 28, 20 (36): 13146-52

AIM: To clarify the association of interleukin-28B (IL28B) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia changes for assessment of interferon (IFN) response.

METHODS: A cohort of 118 Caucasian treatment-naïve HCV-G1 infected patients, treated with pegylated-IFN alpha 2a or 2b associated with ribavirin (53 responders, 65 non-responders) during the period 2010-2012, were genotyped for IL28B SNPs rs12979860 C>T and rs8099917 T>G. Genotyping was performed by real-time allelic discrimination assay. Serum HCV RNA levels were assayed at 2, 4, 12, 24 and 48 wk during therapy. Correlation between IL28B genotypes and serum HCV RNA kinetics was investigated. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of null-response.

RESULTS: Twenty-six out of 118 patients (22%) had no HCV RNA decline ≥ 1 log IU/mL at therapy week 4 (null-responders). IL28B genotype was rs8099917 (G)/rs1297860 in 21/26 (80%) of null-responder patients. Using multivariate analysis, it was shown that the presence of the rs8099917 G allele was the best predictor of null-response (OR = 7.9, 95%CI: 1.99-31.18). The presence of at least one favorable genotype showed a positive predictive value of above 90% for HCV RNA reduction ≥ log at week 4. Analysis of the HCV RNA kinetics during 12 wk of therapy in patients with IL28B rs12979860 CT heterozygosis (n = 73), according to their rs8099917 status, showed that the viremia reduction was significantly different in patients carrying the rs8099917 G allele compared to those with favorable homozygosis.

CONCLUSION: Our findings emphasize the association of the IL28B rs8099917 G allele with HCV. Genotyping for both IL28B SNPs is useful in clinical practice for thorough patient risk stratification based on IFN responsiveness.

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