Incidence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients in a large HIV clinic in South Korea
BACKGROUND/AIMS This study investigated the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the interleukin-28B (IL28B) gene with respect to clinical outcomes and the antiviral response in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to suggest the practical utility of IL28B genotyping in Korea. METHODS Two SNPs near IL28B, rs12979860 and rs8099917, were analyzed using an allelic discrimination assay in a total of 454 individuals, including 147 health-check examinees and 307 patients with HCV infection. RESULTS The CC genotype frequency was significantly higher in the spontaneous recovery group than in the chronic infection group and was higher in the chronic hepatitis group than in the liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma group, suggesting its favorable role in the clinical outcome. Multivariate analysis revealed that the rs12979860 CC genotype was an independent predictor of sustained virologic response (SVR) in genotype 1 HCV infection. During the currently used response-guided therapy, IL28B genotyping was most helpful for the patients who exhibit early virologic responses without rapid virologic responses, as those patients exhibiting the non-CC type did not achieve SVR, although they represented approximately one-third of the total patients. CONCLUSIONS The IL28B SNP is an independent predictor of SVR. Our results may be helpful if the findings are carefully applied to select patients in Korea.