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Hepat Mon. 2012 Dec;12(12):e8387. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.8387. Epub 2012 Dec 22.

Distribution of IL28B Genotypes in Iranian Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C and Healthy Individuals.

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Armin Pathobiology Laboratory, Tehran, Iran ; Tehran Hepatitis Cohort (THC) Study Center, Tehran, Iran.



IL28B polymorphism is recognized as one of the most prominent predictors of hepatitis C spontaneous and treatment-induced clearance. Interestingly, the favorable genotypes of IL28B are found to be more frequent in Asian ethnicity than Caucasian and African populations, respectively. A few studies reported that there is a mysterious association between the IL28B polymorphism and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype in patients with chronic hepatitis C but they did not give any reason for this phenomenon.


The foremost purpose of this study was to compare the distribution of IL28B genotypes between Iranian healthy individuals and patients with chronic hepatitis C.


In this study, 921 patients with chronic hepatitis C and 142 healthy individuals were included. The IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 polymorphisms were genotyped using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method.


The frequency of IL28B rs12979860 CC, CT, and TT genotypes in chronic hepatitis C patients was 38%, 48.8%, and 13.2% and in healthy individuals was 43.7%, 48.6%, and 7.7%. Also, the frequency of IL28B rs8099917 TT, GT, and GG genotypes in chronic hepatitis C patients was 58.3%, 37.1%, and 4.6% and in healthy individuals was 64.1%, 32.4% and 3.5%. The differences in the distribution of IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 genotypes between patients with chronic hepatitis C and healthy individuals were not statistically significant. When we compared the distribution of IL28B genotypes between the healthy group and the HCV infected patients by HCV genotype, we found 9.8% higher frequency of rs12979860 CC genotype in the healthy individuals than HCV genotype 1 infected patients (P = 0.03) however there was no significant difference in the distribution of rs12979860 genotypes between the healthy and HCV genotype 3 infected groups (P = 0.46).


It seems that the impact of IL28B polymorphism on the spontaneous clearance of HCV genotype 1 is more prominent than HCV genotype 3 which results in the observation of higher rs12979860 C allele frequency in chronic hepatitis C patients with HCV genotype 3 than HCV genotype 1.


Hepatitis C; IL28B Genotype, Human; Iran; Persian Gulf; Polymorphism, Genetic

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