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Reumatismo. 2008 Jul-Sep;60(3):192-8.

[Viral genotype and HLA class II alleles influence on extra-hepatic manifestations of chronic HCV infection].

[Article in Italian]

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Sezione di Reumatologia, Dipartimento Medicina Clinica e Scienze Immunologiche, Università di Siena, Siena.



To test whether an association between HCV genotype, HLA class II alleles distribution and extra-hepatic manifestations (EHM ) can be demonstrated in a group of Italian patients with chronic HCV infection .


Sixty patients affected by HCV infection with EHM were consecutively enrolled. 163 HCV patients without EHM were tested as controls for the prevalence of HCV genotypes, while we referred to literature as to the controls for HLA distribution. HCV-RNA was quantified by a RT-PCR. HLA class II alleles typing was performed using a standard microlymphocytotoxicity assay. We used chi-square or Fisher test (p<0.05 significant). Odds Ratio (OR) was performed by 2X2 contingency table.


HCV 2c genotype was found in 63.46% of patients compared to 19.63% of controls (p<0.0001; OR=7.11). Furthermore, it correlated with carpal tunnel syndrome (p=0.03; OR=4.5) and autoimmune thyroiditis (p=0.02; OR=9.2). On the contrary, 1b genotype protected from EHM in toto (p=0.0004; OR=0.21) and particularly from carpal tunnel syndrome (p=0.0014; OR=0.07). Moreover, 3a genotype prevented HCV people from having cryoglobulinemia (p=0.05; OR=0.11). As to HLA, DR6 seemed to facilitate EHM in HCV patients (p=0.041; OR=1.61), while DQ2 (p=0.03; OR=0.5) and DQ3 (p=0.002; OR= 0.5) may play a protective role. In addition, HLA DR3 was associated with cryoglobulinemia (p=0.02; OR=9.5).


According to our findings, 2c genotype can be considered as a major risk factor for developing HCVrelated EHM, while 1b genotype seems to prevent their onset; there are also evidences suggesting that HLA might play a role in chronic HCV infected patients.

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