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Interleukin 28B Gene Variation at rs12979860 Determines Early Viral Kinetics During Treatment in Patients Carrying Genotypes 2 or 3 of Hepatitis C Virus

Journal article
Authors Magnus Lindh
Martin Lagging
M. Färkkilä
N. Langeland
K. Mörch
Staffan Nilsson
Gunnar Norkrans
C. Pedersen
M. R. Buhl
Johan Westin
Kristoffer Hellstrand
Published in Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 203
Issue 12
Pages 1748-1752
ISSN 1537-6613
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 1748-1752
Language en
Keywords il28b, ribavirin
Subject categories Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


Single-nucleotide polymorphisms upstream of the interleukin 28B (interferon lambda 3) gene (IL28B) strongly influence treatment efficacy in patients carrying hepatitis C virus (HCV) of genotype 1. In patients receiving 12 or 24 weeks of interferon-ribavirin therapy for infection with genotype 2 or 3 (n = 341), we found that rs12979860 strikingly determined the first phase of viral elimination (P < .001). In patients treated for 24 weeks, rs12979860 also predicted the rate of sustained virologic response (P = .02), especially among those with high baseline HCV RNA levels (P = .002) or older than 45 years (P = .01). Patients carrying CCrs12979860 had higher baseline HCV RNA levels (P < .001) and did not, when treated for 12 weeks, achieve sustained virologic response more often than those carrying CTrs1297986 or TTrs1297986. The results indicate that IL28B gene testing may identify patients carrying genotype 2 or 3 who could benefit from extended treatment.

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