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Association of a single nucleotide polymorphism near the interleukin-28B gene with response to hepatitis C therapy in HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients

Rallón, Norma Ia; Naggie, Susannab; Benito, José Ma; Medrano, Joséa; Restrepo, Claraa; Goldstein, Davidc; Shianna, Kevin Vc; Vispo, Eugeniaa; Thompson, Alexb; McHutchison, Johnb; Soriano, Vincenta

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283391d6d
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Background: Given that peginterferon–ribavirin treatment is poorly tolerated, there is interest in the identification of predictors of response, particularly in HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV)-coinfected patients that respond less than HCV-monoinfected individuals. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) near the IL28B gene (rs12979860) has been shown to predict treatment response in HCV-monoinfected patients carrying genotype 1. Information is lacking for HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals and/or other HCV genotypes.

Methods: From 650 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, we identified those who had completed a course of peginterferon–ribavirin therapy with a validated outcome and available repository DNA. The rs12979860 SNP was examined in a blinded fashion.

Results: A total of 164 patients were included in the final IL28B genotyping analysis, 90 (55%) of whom achieved sustained virological response (SVR). HCV genotype distribution was as follows: HCV-1 58%, HCV-3 31% and HCV-4 11%. Overall, the SVR rate was higher in patients with CC than in those CT/TT genotypes: 56 of 75 (75%) versus 34 of 89 (38%) (P < 0.0001). The effect of the SNP was seen in HCV genotypes 1 and 4 but not in HCV genotype 3 carriers. In the multivariable analysis (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval; P value), the rs12979860 CC genotype was a strong predictor of SVR (3.7; 1.6–8.5; 0.002), independent of HCV genotype 3 (8.0; 3.1–21.0; <0.001), serum HCV-RNA less than 600 000 IU/ml (11.9; 3.8–37.4; <0.001) and lack of advanced liver fibrosis (3.5; 1.4–8.9; 0.009).

Conclusion: The rs12979860 SNP located near the IL28B gene is associated with HCV treatment response in HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis C due to genotypes 1 or 4. Thus, IL28B genotyping should be considered as part of the treatment decision algorithm in this difficult-to-treat population.

aInfectious Diseases Department, Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

bDuke Clinical Research Institute, USA

cInstitute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Received 4 February, 2010

Revised 25 February, 2010

Accepted 25 February, 2010

Correspondence to Dr Vincent Soriano, Infectious Diseases Department, Hospital Carlos III, Calle Sinesio Delgado 10, Madrid 28029, Spain. Tel: +34 91 4532500; fax: +34 91 7336614; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.