The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of core variations on sustained virological response (SVR) to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) and its association with predictive factors of response in Caucasian patients infected with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV-1). Full-length core sequences were analyzed in 100 Caucasian HCV-1-infected patients who received therapy with PEG-IFN/RBV. The associations between variations in the core protein and SVR, as well as with predictors of SVR, were analyzed. Variations at core 62, 70 and 110 were selected as candidates. There were almost no variations at these positions among patients harboring HCV-1a. However, they were identified in 10 (30.3 %), 21 (63.6 %) and 13 (39.4 %) subjects with HCV-1b, respectively. Among the HCV-1b patients, 39.1 % individuals carrying core R62 and 70 % subjects with core R62G showed SVR (p = 0.141), and 66.7 % of HCV-1b patients harboring core R70 and 38.1 % with core R70Q achieved SVR (p = 0.157), whereas the rate of SVR was 70 % for individuals with core T110 and 15.4 % for those with core T110N (p = 0.004). No statistical interaction between core variations and IL28B genotype was observed. Patients with R70 showed higher median (interquartile range) baseline plasma levels of low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) than those with R70Q (96 (86-118) mg/dL vs. 76 (54-88) mg/dL, p = 0.014). We concluded that a substitution at core 110 is associated with a lower rate of SVR in Caucasian HCV-1b-infected patients receiving PEG-IFN/RBV. Furthermore, the variation at the core 70 position is related to plasma levels of LDL-C in these patients.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2014
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