Na Li, Ping Chen, Xu Li, Fei Su, Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, Anhui Province, China.
To identify the relationship between the tagging single nucleotide polymorphism sites (tagSNPs) of the Interleukin-18 (IL-18) gene and genetic susceptibility to chronic hepatitis B virus infection in Chinese patients.
Five hundred and one cases of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 301 HBV natural clearance controls were studied. Two tagSNPs in the IL-18 gene (rs1946518A/C and rs574424C/G) were genotyped by the Multiplex Snapshot technique. The genotype and allele frequencies were calculated and analyzed.
In the genotypes of rs1946518, the AA type was present at a higher frequency in the patients compared to those in the controls. Odds ratio (OR) of the AA genotype for the comparison with that of the AC and the CC genotype was 1.537 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.116-2.218, P = 0.009 < 0.025). In phenotypes, the allele C at rs1946518 was of a significantly lower frequency in the patients with chronic hepatitis B than that in the controls (P = 0.017 < 0.025). OR of the allele A for the comparison with that of the allele C was 1.279 (95% CI: 1.045-1.567). As for the rs574424 genotypes, no significant difference in this genotype distribution or in this allele frequency between the patients and the control subjects was observed. No significant difference in the haplotype frequencies between the patients with chronic hepatitis B and HBV natural clearance individuals was displayed.
The data suggest that genotype AA and the allele A of the IL-18 at position rs1946518 are closely associated with the resistance to chronic hepatitis B and may be the dangerous gene. However, no statistical association was found between polymorphisms of rs574424 for IL-18 and hepatitis B.