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J Viral Hepat. 2007 Dec;14(12):841-8.

Association of HLA-DRB1*13 and TNF-alpha gene polymorphisms with clearance of chronic hepatitis B infection and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in Thai population.

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Inter-Department of Medical Microbiology, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Considerable evidence suggests that host genetic factor play an important role in the pathogenesis and clinical outcome of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in several ethic groups. Association study was performed included 150 chronic HBV patients, 100 resolved hepatitis B and 150 healthy individuals with similar ethic background. Interestingly, human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DR13 show a strong association with the clearance of HBV [odds ratio (OR) = 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.00-0.26, corrected P-value (P(c)) = 0.0008] similar to reports from several ethic groups. TNF-alpha promoter polymorphisms (-863, -308 and -238) were also analysed. Only -863 C allele was found to be significantly decreased in chronic HBV patients compared with healthy control (P(c) = 0.03, OR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.35-0.84 respectively). This -863C allele was not in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DR13 suggesting that other genetic markers linked with -863C might influence clearance of chronic HBV infection in Thai. When stratified chronic HBV patients into patients without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and with HCC, the -863 A allele was significantly increased in the HCC group compared to healthy control (P(c) = 0.003, OR = 2.61, 95% CI = 1.49-4.60). Haplotype analysis (-863/-308/-238) revealed that the homozygosity of the haplotype (CGG/CGG) was a protective marker for HCC (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.17-0.79, P(c) = 0.02). One can propose that carriers of -863A genotype are associated with increased levels of TNF-alpha in the liver in response to HBV infection and induce hapatocyte damage that may finally lead to HCC development. Additional study is needed to validate these finding and to further explore the genetic pathogenesis of HBV infection.

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