Hepatobiliary Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Faculty of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Host and viral factors interplay in the spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We aimed to explore the roles of IL28B genotypes and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in spontaneous HCV seroclearance.
IL28B rs8099917 genotypes, HCV and HBV markers were determined in 290 patients who were seropositive for HCV antibodies from 1681 total uremic patients on maintenance hemodialysis.
Persistent HCV viremia was observed in 74.6% (214/287) of patients. Logistic regression revealed that the strongest factors associated with spontaneous HCV seroclearance were carriage of rs8099917 TT-type (odds ratio/95% confidence intervals [OR/CI]: 6.22/1.41-27.35, p=0.016), followed by concurrent hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seropositivity (OR/CI: 2.37/1.06-5.26, p=0.035). The clearance rate was highest among patients with both positive HBsAg/rs8099917 TT-type (44.8%, OR/CI: 20.88/3.5-402.5), followed by positive HBsAg/rs8099917 non-TT-type (28.6%, OR/CI: 8.86/1.8-160.8), and negative HBsAg/rs8099917 TT-type (26.7%, OR/CI: 12.75/1.0-319.4), compared to 4% of negative HBsAg/rs8099917 non-TT-type (trend p=0.0002). HBsAg levels, but not HBV DNA levels, were significantly associated with spontaneous HCV seroclearance. Spontaneous HCV seroclearance rate was 58.3% in patients with HBsAg>200IU/ml/rs8099917 TT-type (OR/CI: 42.54/5.7-908.4), 28.0% in patients with HBsAg<200IU/ml/rs8099917 TT-type or HBsAg>200IU/ml/rs8099917 non-TT-type (OR/CI: 11.12/2.3-201.0), compared to only 3.3% in those with HBsAg<200IU/ml/rs8099917 non-TT-type (trend p=0.0004). Five of 214 (2.3%) HCV viremic patients at enrollment had spontaneous HCV seroclearance during one-year follow-up, which was associated with baseline HCV RNA and HBsAg levels.
High HBsAg levels and favorable IL28B genotype were additively associated with spontaneous HCV seroclearance in uremic patients.