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: firstname.lastname@example.org