The IFN-λ Genetic Polymorphism Association With the Viral Clearance Induced by Hepatitis C Virus Treatment in Pakistani Patients

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Background: Polymorphisms in the interferon λ (INF λ) genes on chromosome 19 have been associated with clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced by interferon and ribavirin therapy however there is no such data available for Pakistani patients with HCV infection. Objectives: In this study, the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been investigated in response to treatment with interferon-α and ribavirin in a cohort of 75 HCV genotype 3a patients. Patients and Methods: A total number of 50 SNPs from the Interferon λ region on chromosome 19 were genotyped to investigate allelic associations with the treatment response in HCV type 3a patients. Thirteen SNPs were associated with HCV clearance, with the most significant alleles being RS8109886 (Fisher’s P = 0.0001), RS8113007 (Fisher’s P = 0.0001) and RS12979860 (Fisher’s P = 0.0002). Results: These SNPs were found to be the most suitable SNPs for predicting treatment response in the present study. These findings support those reported previously. This could be used to improve HCV treatment strategies and suggest that Pakistani patients should be genotyped for the relevant SNPs to identify the patients who are more likely to respond to interferon and ribavirin therapy. Conclusions: This therapy is costly and can be accompanied by several adverse side-effects, hence pre-treatment prediction of patients who are most likely to benefit would have both economic and patient benefits in the long term.