Impact of IL28B polymorphisms on response to peginterferon and ribavirin in HIV–hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients with prior nonresponse or relapse
Labarga, Pabloa; Barreiro, Pabloa; Mira, José Ab; Vispo, Eugeniaa; Rallón, Normaa; Neukam, Karinb; Camacho, Angelac; Caruz, Antoniod; Rodriguez-Novoa, Soniaa; Pinilla, Javiere; Rivero, Antonioc; Benito, José Ma; Pineda, Juan Ab; Soriano, Vincenta
aHospital Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
bHospital Valme, Seville, Spain
cHospital Reina Sofía, Córdoba, Spain
dUniversidad de Jaén, Jaén, Spain
eHospital San Pedro, Logroño, Spain.
Received 16 February, 2011
Revised 10 March, 2011
Accepted 24 March, 2011
Correspondence to Dr Pablo Barreiro, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Calle Sinesio Delgado 10, Madrid 28029, Spain. Tel: +34 91 4532500; fax: +34 91 7336614; e-mail: email@example.com
IL28B polymorphisms predict treatment response in chronic hepatitis C. However, no information exists in prior treatment failures. A total of 62 HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients who completed retreatment with peginterferon-α/ribavirin were examined, of whom 25 (40%) had been cured. Predictors of response [odds ratio, OR (95% confidence interval, CI)] were HCV genotypes 2/3 [16.1 (2.7–90.9)], prior relapse [9.6 (1.5–62.4)] and ribavirin plasma trough concentrations at week 4 [4.9 (1.3–18.4)]. IL28B-CC only predicted response in prior nonresponders carrying HCV genotypes 1/4 [25.1 (1.9–337)].
While awaiting for the arrival of new direct hepatitis C virus (HCV) antivirals, the accelerated course of liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals  makes treatment of chronic hepatitis C a priority , being patients who have failed interferon (IFN)α-based therapy in the past no exception. Besides the strong influence of HCV genotypes, the chances of a sustained virological response (SVR) after treatment rechallenge seem to mostly depend on patient's characteristics rather than viral factors, that is, extent of liver fibrosis or ribavirin (RBV) plasma exposure . Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) nearby the IL28B gene are currently known to be strong predictors of response to first-line pegIFNα–RBV therapy in both HCV-monoinfected [4–6] and HCV/HIV-coinfected individuals [7,8]. At this time, the impact of IL28B variants on treatment rechallenge is unknown.
We have assessed the influence of IL28B rs12979860 SNPs in 62 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who received a second course of therapy with pegIFNα-2a (180 μg/week) and RBV (1000–1200 mg/day) for 48 weeks, after having failed to suboptimal IFNα-based regimens in the past (i.e., conventional IFNα with/without RBV or pegIFNα and fixed 800 mg/day RBV dosing). Participants without a decline of more than 2 logs in serum HCV-RNA at week 12 or with serum HCV-RNA more than 10 IU/ml at week 24 were considered as virological failures and discontinued therapy . Likewise, participants who showed HCV-RNA rebound after discontinuing treatment with undetectable viremia were considered as relapsers. Plasma HCV-RNA was measured using a real-time PCR assay (lower limit of detection of 10 IU/ml). HCV genotyping was performed using a commercial RT-PCR hybridization . Plasma trough concentrations of RBV were measured at week 4 using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) . The IL28B rs12979860 SNP was examined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells using the 5′ nuclease assay with allele-specific TaqMan probes (ABI TaqMan allelic discrimination kit) and ABI7900HT Sequence Detection System (Applied Biosystems, Carlsbad, California, USA) .
In the study population, mean age was 43 years, most were men (82%) and were former injection drug users (IDUs; 97%); active alcohol abuse was rare (8%) and most patients were on antiretroviral therapy (94%), with undetectable plasma HIV-RNA (95%) and mean CD4 cell counts of 657 cells/μl. Most participants had serum HCV-RNA levels more than 500 000 IU/ml (73%) and were infected with HCV genotypes 1 or 4 (76%). More than a half of patients had advanced liver fibrosis (53%) and had failed to pegIFNα and low-dose RBV (58%). Nonresponse (63%) was the most frequent type of virological failure to first hepatitis C therapy, being HCV relapse recognized in only 21% of cases. In the remaining 16%, the prior course of therapy had been prematurely interrupted due to toxicity. Overall, 47% of patients had the IL28B rs12979860 CC genotype.
A total of 25 (40%, by on-treatment analysis) attained SVR after completion of pegIFNα–RBV retreatment. Patients who achieved SVR had lower baseline serum HCV-RNA (5.8 vs. 6.2 log IU/ml, P = 0.06) and were less frequently infected with HCV genotype 1 or 4 (48% vs. 95%, P < 0.01) than failures. The likelihood of achieving SVR was significantly greater in prior relapsers than in nonresponders (85% vs. 31%; P < 0.001). Participants carrying IL28B CC more likely attained SVR than non-CC carriers (57% vs. 24%, respectively; P = 0.006). However, when the population was split out according to HCV genotype, the impact of IL28B on SVR was only seen in HCV genotypes 1 or 4 carriers (44% for CC vs. 14% for non-CC, P = 0.02), being not recognized in participants infected with HCV genotype 2 or 3 (82% SVR for CC vs. 100% for non-CC, P = 0.36). Patients who attained sustained HCV clearance had greater mean RBV plasma trough concentrations at week 4 of therapy than patients who failed therapy (2.41 vs. 1.75 μg/ml; P = 0.02). The best discriminatory RBV threshold was 2.0 μg/ml, which displayed a positive predictive value of 69% and a negative predictive value of 70% for SVR (P = 0.02).
Two models for the multivariate analysis were built considering or not RBV plasma trough concentrations at week 4 among the predictors of SVR. HCV genotype 2 or 3, relapse after prior IFNα-based therapy, and RBV plasma concentrations were all associated with SVR (Table 1). Interestingly, the impact of IL28B polymorphisms on SVR was only recognized in the subset of patients more difficult to treat, namely those infected with HCV genotypes 1 or 4 and with true nonresponse to a first course of therapy. In the multivariate analysis for this subpopulation, adjusting for sex, use of antiretroviral therapy, serum HCV-RNA levels, and liver fibrosis staging, the subset of patients carrying the CC genotype had a higher likelihood of response than CT/TT carriers [odds ratio (OR), 25.07 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.86–337), P = 0.01]. Moreover, in these patients, RBV plasma trough concentrations at week 4 did not predict SVR [OR, 2.79 (95% CI 0.58–13.03), P = 0.2].
The finding of a restricted influence of the favorable IL28B genotype in patients with history of true nonresponse instead of relapsers is in line with the recognition by others of a strong association between IL28B rs12979860 SNPs and early viral kinetics on therapy but not with prevention of viral rebound upon completion of treatment . In contrast, RBV plasma trough concentrations predicted SVR to re-treatment of hepatitis C in the subset of patients with prior HCV relapse and/or HCV genotypes 2 or 3. In them, RBV trough concentrations more than 2 μg/ml were associated with SVR [OR, 11.67 (95% CI 0.92–147), P = 0.06] with almost statistical significance in the multivariate analysis.
In summary, re-treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV–HCV-coinfected patients must ensure optimal RBV exposure, especially in prior relapsers and/or in patients infected with HCV genotype 2 or 3. In contrast, in prior true nonresponders infected with HCV genotype 1 or 4, which is the most prevalent and difficult-to-treat population, optimization of RBV exposure seems to have little impact on SVR, while a favorable IL28B genotype plays a major role in the outcome of re-treatment.
The present work was supported by grants from Fundación Investigacion y Educacion en SIDA (IES), the European NEAT project, Red de Investigacion en SIDA (RIS, FIS-RD06/0006), Agencia Laín Entralgo, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Río Hortega, ref. CM009) and Fundación para la Investigación y la Prevención del SIDA en España (FIPSE, 360799/09). V.S. and P.L. are recipients of intensification grants from Agencia Lain Entralgo, Comunidad Autonoma de Madrid. J.A.P. is recipient of an intensification grant from Fundación Progreso y Salud, Consejería de Salud de la Junta de Andalucía (AI-0021).
All authors declare no conflict of interest.
1. Benhamou Y, Bochet M, Di Martino V, Charlotte F, Azria F, Coutellier A, et al
. Liver fibrosis progression in HIV and hepatitis C virus coinfected patients. The Multivirc Group. Hepatology 1999; 30:1054–1058.
2. Soriano V, Puoti M, Sulkowski M, Mauss S, Cacoub P, Cargnel A, et al
. Care of patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus: 2007 updated recommendations from the HCV-HIV International Panel. AIDS 2007; 21:1073–1089.
3. Labarga P, Vispo E, Barreiro P, Rodríguez-Novoa S, Pinilla J, Morello J, et al
. Rate and predictors of success in the retreatment of chronic hepatitis C virus in HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfected patients with prior nonresponse or relapse. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2010; 53:364–368.
4. Ge D, Fellay J, Thompson A, Simon J, Shianna K, Urban T, et al
. Genetic variation in IL28B predicts hepatitis C treatment-induced viral clearance. Nature 2009; 461:399–401.
5. Suppiah V, Moldovan M, Ahlenstiel G, Berg T, Weltman M, Abate M, et al
. IL28B is associated with response to chronic hepatitis C interferon-alpha and ribavirin therapy. Nat Genet 2009; 41:1100–1104.
6. Tanaka Y, Nishida N, Sugiyama M, Kurosaki M, Matsuura K, Sakamoto N, et al
. Genome-wide association of IL28B with response to pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C. Nat Genet 2009; 41:1105–1109.
7. Rallón N, Naggie S, Benito J, Medrano J, Restrepo C, Goldstein D, et al
. Association of a single nucleotide polymorphism near interleukin-28B with response to hepatitis C therapy in HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfected patients. AIDS 2010; 24:F23–29.
8. Pineda J, Caruz A, Rivero A, Neukam K, Salas I, Camacho A, et al
. Prediction of response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin by IL28B gene variation in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus. Clin Infect Dis 2010; 51:788–795.
9. Chevaliez S, Bouvier-Alias M, Brillet R, Pawlotsky JM. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 subtype identification in new HCV drug development and future clinical practice. PLoS One 2009; 4:e8209.
10. Morello J, Rodriguez-Novoa S, Cantillano A, Gonzalez-Pardo G, Jimenez-Nacher I, Soriano V. Measurement of ribavirin plasma concentrations by high-performance liquid chromatography using a novel solid-phase extraction method in patients treated for chronic hepatitis C. Ther Drug Monit 2007; 29:802–806.
11. Livak K. Allelic discrimination using fluorogenic probes and the 5′ nuclease assay. Genet Anal 1999; 14:143–149.
12. McCarthy J, Li J, Thompson A, Suchindran S, Lao X, Patel K, et al
. Replicated association between an IL28B gene variant and a sustained response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Gastroenterology 2010; 138:2307–2314.
This article has been cited 4 time(s).
HIV Clinical TrialsSustained Virological Response and Baseline Predictors in HIV-HCV Coinfected Patients Retreated with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin after Failing a Previous Interferon-Based Therapy: Systematic Review and Meta-AnalysisHIV Clinical Trials
Annals of Hepatology
Response predictors and clinical benefits of hepatitis C retreatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in HIV/HCV coinfection
Annals of Hepatology, 12(2):
Journal of Infectious DiseasesIn HIV/HCV Coinfected Patients Dendritic Cell Activation State Is Not Associated With IL28B GenotypeJournal of Infectious Diseases
Journal of Viral HepatitisIL28RA polymorphism is associated with early hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment failure in human immunodeficiency virus-/HCV-coinfected patientsJournal of Viral Hepatitis
© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
What does "Remember me" mean?
By checking this box, you'll stay logged in until you logout. You'll get easier access to your articles, collections,
media, and all your other content, even if you close your browser or shut down your
To protect your most sensitive data and activities (like changing your password),
we'll ask you to re-enter your password when you access these services.
What if I'm on a computer that I share with others?
If you're using a public computer or you share this computer with others, we recommend
that you uncheck the "Remember me" box.
Data is temporarily unavailable. Please try again soon.