APMIS : acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica

Interleukin- 28B: a prognostic marker in interferon based therapy of chronic HCV patients of the Pakistan with variable treatment response.

PMID 26177560


Unfortunately Pakistan carries one of the world's highest burdens of chronic hepatitis along with mortality due to liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Scientists after extensive research have come up with this outcome that host genetics play a vital role in dictating the type of treatment response produced by the patients. In 2009, a genome wide association study (GWAS) revealed that genetic variants in close proximity to the IL28B (IFNL3) gene predicted greater likelihood of achieving sustained virological response (SVR) following treatment with pegylated IFN-alpha (peg INF-α) and ribavirin. IL28B (rs12979860 and rs8099917) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been recently found among the Pakistani population associated with response to chronic HCV infection INF-α + ribavirin therapy. Therefore, this study was aimed to investigate the IL-28B protein levels in the HCV infected patients. The findings showed that the serum IL28B protein level was higher in HCV infected patients as compared to healthy controls (7.743 ± 1.519 pg/mL versus 1.600 ± 0.06054 [mean ± SEM], p < 0.05). When the chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients were further categorized into SVR and NR (non-responders) on the basis of treatment outcomes, the mean IL28B protein level was higher in NRs (15.54 ± 3.609) than SVRs (4.259 ± 0.3405). Thus, there was a significant correlation between IL28B protein level in varied treatment response (p < 0.05). However, the findings can lead us to propose that IL28B could be used as a prognostic marker. It can help the clinicians to take better pre-informed decisions whether to take combinational therapy of peg IFN ± ribavirin or not. This will in turn prove beneficial for the patient by saving patients' health, treatment cost and undesirable treatment side effects.