Interleukin 28B.rs12979860 genotype does not affect hepatitis C viral load in Egyptians with genotype 4 chronic infection

Sayed F Abdelwahab, Zainab Zakaria, Walaa R Allam, Shaimaa Hamdy, Mohamed A Mahmoud, Maha Sobhy, Eman Rewisha, Imam Waked
Archives of Virology 2015, 160 (11): 2833-7
Several host and viral factors affect the natural history of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection. Interleukin 28B (IL28B).rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was found to predict viral clearance with and without therapy. Subjects with the CC (favorable) genotype of IL28B.rs12979860 were more likely to spontaneously clear the infection and respond favorably to therapy. These data suggest that subjects with the "favorable" CC genotype might have a lower viral load when compared to those with the "unfavorable" TT genotype. Therefore, we examined the effect of IL28B.rs12979860 SNP on HCV viral load and clearance among HCV-infected Egyptians. This cross sectional study was conducted on 375 HCV antibody-positive subjects. Detection and quantification of HCV-RNA was determined by RT-PCR. IL28B.rs12979860 genotyping was performed using SYBR green real-time PCR and specific primers. Of 375 HCV-antibody positive subjects, 239 (63.7%) had chronic HCV infection while the remaining 136 (36.3%) subjects had spontaneously cleared the virus. The frequency of IL28-B CC, CT, and TT genotypes among spontaneous resolvers were 54.4%, 39.0%, and 6.6% while among the chronically infected subjects, they were 31.4%, 49.8%, and 18.8%, respectively. As expected, IL28 genotype predicted spontaneous HCV clearance (p < 0.001). The average HCV viral loads were 1.5 ± 0.69 x 10(6), 0.62 ± 0.11 x 10(6) and 0.51 ± 0.14 x 10(6) IU/ml among chronic subjects with the IL28B.rs12979860 CC, CT and TT genotypes, respectively (p > 0.05). In conclusion, our results show that IL28B.rs12979860 genotype does not affect viral load among chronic HCV infected Egyptians. These findings further confirm the complexity of viral host interactions in determining HCV infection outcome.

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