Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Interferon lambda 3/4 polymorphisms are associated with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma

Bibert, Stéphaniea; Wójtowicz, Agnieszkaa; Taffé, Patrickb; Tarr, Philip E.c; Bernasconi, Enosd; Furrer, Hansjakobe; Günthard, Huldrych F.f,g; Hoffmann, Matthiash; Kaiser, Laurenti; Osthoff, Michaelj; Fellay, Jacquesk,l; Cavassini, Matthiasa; Bochud, Pierre-Yvesa the Swiss HIV Cohort Study

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002004

Background: Kaposi's sarcoma, the most common AIDS-related cancer, represents a major public concern in resource-limited countries. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within the Interferon lambda 3/4 region (IFNL3/4) determine the expression, function of IFNL4, and influence the clinical course of an increasing number of viral infections.

Objectives: To analyze whether IFNL3/4 variants are associated with susceptibility to AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma among MSM enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS).

Methods: The risk of developing Kaposi's sarcoma according to the carriage of IFNL3/4 SNPs rs8099917 and rs12980275 and their haplotypic combinations was assessed by using cumulative incidence curves and Cox regression models, accounting for relevant covariables.

Results: Kaposi's sarcoma was diagnosed in 221 of 2558 MSM Caucasian SHCS participants. Both rs12980275 and rs8099917 were associated with an increased risk of Kaposi's sarcoma (cumulative incidence 15 versus 10%, P = 0.01 and 16 versus 10%, P = 0.009, respectively). Diplotypes predicted to produce the active P70 form (cumulative incidence 16 versus 10%, P = 0.01) but not the less active S70 (cumulative incidence 11 versus 10%, P = 0.7) form of IFNL4 were associated with an increased risk of Kaposi's sarcoma, compared with those predicted not to produce IFNL4. The associations remained significant in a multivariate Cox regression model after adjustment for age at infection, combination antiretroviral therapy, median CD4+ T-cell count nadir and CD4+ slopes (hazard ratio 1.42, 95% confidence interval 1.06–1.89, P = 0.02 for IFLN P70 versus no IFNL4).

Conclusion: This study reports for the first time an association between IFNL3/4 polymorphisms and susceptibility to AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

aInfectious Diseases Service, Department of Medicine

bInstitute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne

cDepartment of Medicine, Kantonspital Baselland, University of Basel, Bruderholz

dDivision of Infectious diseases, Regional hospital of Lugano, Lugano

eDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern

fDivision of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich

gInstitute of Medical Virology, University of Zurich, Zurich

hDivision of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen

iLaboratory of Virology, Division of Infectious Diseases and Division of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of Geneva and Medical School, University of Geneva, Geneva

jDivision of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology and Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel

kGlobal Health Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

lPrecision Medicine unit, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Correspondence to Pierre-Yves Bochud, MD, Infectious Diseases Service, CHUV, Rue du Bugnon 46, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel: +41 21 314 10 26; fax: +41 21 314 40 60; e-mail:

Received 29 May, 2018

Accepted 12 August, 2018

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.