Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are associated with both the progression of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and the sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral therapy. HLA-A*02 is the most common HLA allele in people of European/Caucasian descent and the Chinese and Japanese population. Therefore, we investigated whether HLA-A*02 expression is associated with disease outcome in Chinese CHC patients. Three hundred thirty-one treatment-naïve CHC patients were recruited in this study. The expression of HLA-A*02 was tested by FACS and LABType SSO assays. All patients were treated weekly with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) according to a standard protocol. Virological response was assessed by TaqMan assay at the 4th, 12th, 24th, and 48th week of therapy, and again at the 24th week post-therapy. By the end of the study, 293 CHC patients, including 144 HLA-A*02-positive patients and 149 HLA-A*02-negative patients, were evaluable for analysis. There were no statistical differences in clinicopathological parameters between HLA-A*02-positive and negative patients before antiviral therapy ( P > 0.05). The HLA-A*02-positive patients had a higher rapid virological response (RVR, 74.3 % versus 62.4 %, P = 0.03) and SVR (78.5 % versus 64.4 %, P = 0.01) and a lower relapse rate (4.2 % versus 11.9 %, P = 0.03) than HLA-A*02-negative patients. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that HLA-A*02 expression, liver fibrosis stages <S3, HCV genotype 2a, IL-28B rs8099917 TT, and RVR were independent predictive factors of SVR ( P < 0.05). Host HLA-A*02 allele expression is associated with SVR, highlighting the importance of considering HLA-A*02 as a predictor of the response to PEG-IFN/RBV treatment in the Chinese population with CHC.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2015
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