Source University of Palermo, Italy;
Background. Polymorphisms in the interleukin-28B are important determinants in the spontaneous and drug-induced control of hepatitis C virus infection.
Design and Methods. We assessed the association of rs8099917 and rs12979860 polymorphisms with spontaneous viral clearance, severity of liver fibrosis, and response to interferon-monotherapy in 245 Thalassemia Major patients with Hepatitis C Virus infection.
Results. Ninety-eight patients (40%) had a spontaneous viral clearance, while 147 patients (60%) developed a chronic infection. Spontaneous viral clearance was more frequent among patients with the T/T genotype of rs8099917 polymorphism (OR 2.130; p=0.008) or C/C genotype of rs12979860 polymorphism (OR 2.425; p=0.001). During observation, 131 patients with chronic infection underwent a liver biopsy, age (OR 1.058; p=0.01) G/T or G/G genotypes of rs8099917 polymorphism (OR 3.962; p=0.001) and C/T or T/T genotypes of rs12979860 polymorphism (OR 3.494; p=0.005) were associated with severe liver fibrosis, independent of liver iron concentration. Finally, T/T genotype of rs8099917 polymorphism (OR 3.014; p=0.03) or C/C genotype of rs12979860 polymorphism (OR 3.285; p=0.01), age (OR 0.902; p=0.001), female gender (OR 3.418; p=0.01) and 2 or 3 virus C genotypes (OR 4.700; p=0.007 ) were independently associated with sustained virological response in 114 patients treated with alpha- interferon .
Conclusions. Polymorphisms in the interleukin-28B are associated with the control of hepatitis C virus infection in Thalassemia Major patients, and the knowledge of allelic patterns has a relevant role in determining the prognosis and therapeutic management.