IL28B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) play important roles in the management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and are strongly associated with spontaneous and treatment-induced HCV clearance.
In the present study, the association between IL28B variants and the progression of HCV infection in Egyptian patients infected with type 4a virus will be examined.
Patients and Methods
Frequencies of the protective genotype C/C of SNP, rs12979860 were determined in healthy subjects, spontaneous resolvers, and chronic HCV type 4 patients with low F scores and in patients with end stage liver disease (ESLD). This study included a total of 404 subjects. Patients infected with HCV type 4a (n = 304) were divided into; chronic hepatitis C (CHC) with low F scores (CHC, n = 110), end stage liver disease (n = 110), liver cirrhosis (LC) (n = 35) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients (n = 75), spontaneous resolvers of HCV infection (n = 84) were also included. A healthy group representing the Egyptian population (n = 100) was also included in the genotyping of IL28B. The later was typed via a polymerase chain reaction based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay analysis on purified genomic DNA extracted from all individuals.
A significant increase (P < 0.0005) was observed in frequencies of IL-28B rs12979860 C/C genotypes in the healthy population, than in the CHC, LC and HCC groups (C/C = 48%, 13%, 0%.and 0% respectively). On the other hand the C/C genotype was significantly higher (P < 0.0005) in spontaneous resolvers than in healthy subjects. A comparable significant increase in the frequency of C/T allele accompanied by mild elevation of T/T allele frequency, were detected along the progression towards ESLD.
Genotype C/C is associated with viral clearance during acute infection. The sharp decline in the C/C genotype from healthy to CHC subjects and the total absence of the C/C genotype in ESLD suggests a central role of this genotype against HCV disease progression.