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Genes Immun. 2005 Jun;6(4):347-57.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes in the IL10 region associated with HCV clearance.

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Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an infectious blood-borne pathogen that usually persists as a chronic infection. However, approximately 15% of the time, patients can clear the virus, indicating that host differences could be critical in determining the course of HCV infection. The inflammatory response is crucial to resolving or failing to resolve an acute HCV infection. Some previous reports have implicated interleukin 10 (IL10) polymorphisms with successful anti-HCV therapy and natural viral clearance. We tested 54 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL10 region (+/-300 kb and 24 within the IL10 gene itself), which contains 13 genes including the IL10 immunomodulatory paralogs IL19, IL20, and IL24, for association with HCV clearance vs persistence. SNPs from two haplotype block regions, one at IL10 and the other from IL19/IL20, were associated with HCV clearance in African Americans (91 clearance cases and 183 chronically infected matched controls; P=0.05-0.002) while with expectation-maximization algorithm-reconstructed haplotypes, these associations remained (P=0.05-0.002). However, no significant associations were detected in European Americans (108 clearance and 245 chronic). Our results indicate that variants of the immunomodulatory IL10 and IL19/IL20 genes may be involved in natural clearance of HCV in the African-American population.

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