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Genotyping hepatitis C patients improves prediction of treatment response

Press release from PLoS Medicine


In this week's PLoS Medicine, David Booth of the University of Sydney, Australia and colleagues show that genotyping hepatitis C patients for the IL28B, HLA-C and KIR genes substantially improves doctors' ability to predict whether or not patients will respond to antiviral treatment.

The results of the study suggest that an interaction between IL28B, HLA-C and KIRs provides a mechanism for hepatitis C viral control and highlight new insights into how the drug combination of pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin clears hepatitis C virus infections, findings that may lead to improved therapies in the future. The findings have yet to be confirmed in patients of non-European descent.


Funding: VS, DB, GS, and JG were supported by Australian Research Council Roche Linkage Project grant LPO0990067 and the Robert W. Storr Bequest to the Sydney Clinical School, University of Sydney. GD is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship. TB is supported by the German Competence Network for Viral Hepatitis (Hep-Net), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Grant No. 01 KI0437, Genetic host factors in viral hepatitis and Genetic Epidemiology Group in viral hepatitis) and by the EU-Vigilance network of excellence combating viral resistance (VIRGIL, Projekt No. LSHM-CT-2004-503359) as well as by the BMBF Project: Host and viral determinants for susceptibility and resistance to hepatitis C virus infection (Grant No. 01KI0787, Project B). DS and MB (Newcastle University, UK) are funded by a Medical Research Council UK project grant G0502028. JN was supported by BMBF (German Ministry for Science and Education) [grant no. 01KI0791] and H.W. and J. Hector Foundation [grant no. M42]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Suppiah V, Gaudieri S, Armstrong NJ, O'Connor KS, Berg T, et al. (2011) IL28B, HLA-C, and KIR Variants Additively Predict Response to Therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in a European Cohort: A Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS Med 8(9): e1001092. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001092


David Booth
Institute for Immunology and Allergy Research
Westmead Millennium Institute
Darcy Rd
Sydney, NSW 2145 Australia
+61 2 98458498

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