IFNL3 (IL28B) and IFNL4 polymorphisms are associated with treatment response in Thai patients infected with HCV genotype 1, but not with genotypes 3 and 6.
Akkarathamrongsin S., Thong VD., Payungporn S., Poovorawan K., Prapunwattana P., Poovorawan Y., Tangkijvanich P.
Recent studies have shown an association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the interferon lambda-3 (IFNL3 or IL-28B) and IFNL4 genes and treatment response to hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV-1) infection. The importance of these SNPs for HCV genotype 3 (HCV-3), and particularly HCV genotype 6 (HCV-6), remains to be elucidated. We analyzed a cohort of 225 Thai individuals with chronic HCV infection treated with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, of whom 69 (30.7%), 114 (50.7%) and 42 (18.6%) patients were infected with HCV-1, HCV-3, and HCV-6, respectively. DNA extracted from blood samples was analyzed for the SNPs rs12979860 and ss469415590. The distribution of CC, CT, and TT genotypes of rs12979860 was 189 (84%), 28 (12.4%) and 8 (3.6%), respectively, while the distribution of TT/TT, ΔG/TT, and ΔG/ΔG genotypes of ss469415590 was 192(85.3%), 28(12.5%), and 5(2.2%), respectively. Significantly lower frequencies of the favorable genotypes CC (for rs12979860) and TT/TT (for ss469415590) were found in the HCV-1 group in comparison with the other groups. The favorable genotypes were associated significantly with rapid and sustained virological response in the HCV-1 group. However, they were only associated with rapid virological response in the HCV-3 and HCV-6 groups. Furthermore, both SNPs were associated equally with the treatment outcome in the HCV-1 group. In contrast, the role of these SNPs in predicting treatment response was attenuated in the HCV-3 and HCV-6 groups. Thus, identification of these SNPs may be useful only in patients with refractory HCV-1 infection.