Background/aims: Spontaneous viral clearance observed in some patients is one of the variants of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection natural history. We aimed to look at the complexity of factors affecting the spontaneous clearance of HCV (SC HCV).
Materials and methods: A total of 357 anti-HCV positive patients (309 with chronic hepatitis C and 48 patients with SC HCV) were included into the study. We studied the effects of the interleukin-28B (IL-28B) gene polymorphism, gender, age, the routes of virus transmission, past hepatitis C with jaundice, HCV genotype, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV co-infection on the outcome of HCV infection.
Results: Based on the study results, the SC HCV was found in 48 individuals (13.4%). The most significant positive factors affecting the SC HCV included IL-28B single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs12979860 (CC) and SNP rs8099917 (TT) (OR 4.03, p<0.001) and (OR 3.14, p<0.002), female gender (OR 2.72, p<0.001), young age (OR 2.30, p<0.008), and past history of jaundice (OR 5.12, p<0.001). The markers of a past HBV infection were found significantly more often in SC.
Conclusion: Positive predictors of the SC HCV include favorable IL-28B genotype, female gender, young age, a history of jaundice, markers of a past HBV infection, the absence of HIV infection, but not the viral genotype.