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, 8 (3), e58882

Virological Predictors of Response to Retreatment in Hepatitis C Genotype 2 Infected Patients


Virological Predictors of Response to Retreatment in Hepatitis C Genotype 2 Infected Patients

Chung-Feng Huang et al. PLoS One.


Background/aims: The impact of virological factors and interleukin-28B (IL-28B) genetic variants on retreatment of hepatitis C virus genotype 2 (HCV-2) treatment-experienced patients remains unknown.

Methods: On-treatment virological responses and IL-28B rs8099917 genotype were determined in 46 HCV-2 treatment-experienced patients (42 previous relapsers; four previous non-responders) retreated with 24-week peginterferon/ribavirin.

Results: Forty (87.0%) patients carried the rs8099917 TT genotype and 6 patients (13.0%) carried the TG/GG genotype. The sustained virological response (SVR; seronegativity of HCV RNA throughout 24 weeks of the post-treatment follow-up period) rate was 71.7%. Compared with previous non-responders, previous relapsers had a significantly higher SVR rate (78.6% vs. 0%, P = 0.004) and a lower relapse rate (17.5% vs. 100%, P = 0.04). All the previous non-responders were with the rs8099917 TT genotype. As for those who relapsed, treatment responses, including the rates of rapid virological response (RVR, 80.6% vs. 66.7%, P = 0.59), early virological response (EVR, 97.2% vs. 83.3%, P = 0.27), end-of-treatment virological response (97.2% vs. 83.3%, P = 0.27) and SVR (80.6% vs. 66.7%, P = 0.59) and relapse rate (17.1% vs. 20.0%, P = 1) did not differ significantly between patients with the rs8099917 TT and those with the non-TT genotype. Multivariate analysis revealed that the most important factor predictive of an SVR in the retreatment of HCV-2 was previous relapse; the only factor predictive of an SVR for previous relapsers was the achievement of an EVR. Compared with the achievement of a RVR, the attainment of an EVR was more accurate in predicting an SVR (88% vs. 74%).

Conclusions: Peginterferon/ribavirin is effective in the retreatment of HCV-2 relapsers, especially among those who achieved an EVR.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have read the journal's policy and have the following conflicts: co-author Ming-Lung Yu is the member of advisory board of Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Roche and Abbott and on the PLOS editorial board. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Treatment responses between patients with different rs8099917 genotypes.
Black bar represents patients with rs8099917 TT genotype. Brown bar represents patients with rs8099917 GT/GG genotype. RVR, rapid virological response. EVR, early virological response. EOTVR, end of treatment virological response. SVR, sustained virological response.

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Grant support

This study was supported by a grant from the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital (KMUH100-9I02) and a grant from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 100-2314-B-037 -014 -MY2). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.