Reuters Health Information (2005-08-01): CCR5 polymorphism tied to hepatitis C virus clearance
CCR5 polymorphism tied to hepatitis C virus clearance
Last Updated: 2005-08-01 14:40:18 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Heterozygosity of the CCR5
delta 32 genotype is significantly associated with spontaneous
hepatitis C viral (HCV) clearance as well as reduced hepatic
inflammation, Irish researchers report in the August issue of Gut.
Among the clinical implications of the findings "is that the
anti-CCR5 directed medication may offer a potential treatment for HCV
-- although more studies on this polymorphism would have to be done
first, in relation to impact on other HCV genotypes," lead investigator
Dr. Carol A. Goulding told Reuters Health.
Dr. Goulding of St. James' Hospital, Dublin and colleagues came to
this conclusion after studying 283 women who were exposed to HCV
genotype 1b from a single source via contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin
The researchers note that chemokines have a significant role in
lymphocyte recruitment and trafficking, and inherited variations in
CCR2, CCR5 and the ligand RANTES might have influenced the response to
this HCV exposure. To investigate, the team genotyped these subjects
and another 120 unselected controls.
No relationship was found between CCR2 or RANTES and response to
HCV. However, CCR5 delta 32 heterozygotes were more likely (odds ratio,
1.83) to have had spontaneous clearance of the virus than were those
without the mutation.
In previous work, the researchers found that HLA DRB1*3011
positivity was associated with reduced hepatic inflammation.
Nevertheless, no additive effect was seen with CCR5 delta 32,
suggesting, say the investigators, a dominant role for this HLA allele.
The heterozygous genotype was found in about 18% of HCV-infected
subjects and controls. There was only one homozygote found in each
The researchers suggest that the effect of this mutation may not
only be important in those with HCV, but also "to the vast number who
are coinfected with HIV," particularly in light of the anti-CCR5 agents
being investigated in these patients.