Impact of host IL28B rs12979860, rs8099917 in interferon responsiveness and advanced liver disease in chronic genotype 3 hepatitis C patients

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 10;9(6):e99126. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099126. eCollection 2014.


Background and aims: Genetic polymorphisms near interleukin 28B gene are associated with spontaneous and treatment induced clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Our objective was to evaluate the impact of interleukin 28B single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12979860, rs8099917) variability in HCV genotype 3 infected populations.

Methods: 400 hepatitis C seroreactive patients from different population groups in Eastern and North Eastern part of India were assessed for host and viral genotypic analysis. 83 HCV genotype 3 infected patients were administered pegylated interferon- ribavirin therapy. Viral genotyping was performed using nested reverse transcriptase-PCR followed by direct sequencing methods. Host interleukin 28B genotyping was performed using real-time PCR based single nucleotide polymorphism analysis.

Results: Out of 400 hepatitis C seroreactive individuals, 73.25% were found to be RNA positive. HCV genotype 3 (65.87%) was found to be the major circulating strain in this region followed by genotype 1 (32.08%). rs12979860 CC genotype was significantly associated with sustained virological response in HCV genotype 3 infected population. In patients achieving rapid virological response, favourable CC/TT allele at rs12979860, rs8099917 was found to be predominant at both the alleles at 77%, 73.2% respectively; whereas in case of patients with relapsed HCV infection CT, TG alleles were found to be predominant. Additionally, CC genotypes at rs12979860 were found to be associated with sustained virological response in patients with high viral load (OR = 6.75, 0.05<p). HCV unfavourable rs12979860 TT, rs8099917 GG alleles were present in 34%, 27.6% patients with relapsed HCV infection respectively. Also unfavourable CT, TG genotypes were found to be predominant in patients with advanced stages of liver disease.

Conclusion: CC, TT the two favourable markers at SNPs rs12979860 and rs8099917 are strongly associated with sustained virological response in genotype 3 infected populations. This information will aid clinicians to effectively design response based treatment regimen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Interferons
  • Interleukins / genetics*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver / virology
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load


  • IFNL3 protein, human
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukins
  • Interferons

Grant support

This work was supported by Indian Council of Medical Research, India. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.