Comparative analysis of rs12979860 SNP of the IFNL3 gene in children with hepatitis C and ethnic matched controls using 1000 genomes project data

Giuseppe Indolfi, Giusi Mangone, Elisa Bartolini, Gabriella Nebbia, Pier Luigi Calvo, Maria Moriondo, Pier Angelo Tovo, Maurizio De Martino, Chiara Azzari, Massimo Resti

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The rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism located on chromosome 19q13.13 near the interferon L3 gene (formerly and commonly known as interleukin 28B gene) has been associated in adults with both spontaneous and treatment induced clearance of hepatitis C virus. Although the exact mechanism of these associations remains unclear, it suggests that variation in genes involved in the immune response against the virus favours viral clearance. Limited and preliminary data are available on this issue in children. The aim of the present study was to evaluate, in a representative cohort of children with perinatal infection, the potential association between rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism and the outcome of hepatitis C virus infection. Alleles and genotypes frequencies were evaluated in 30 children who spontaneously cleared the virus and in 147 children with persistent infection and were compared with a population sample of ethnically matched controls with unknown hepatitis C status obtained using the 1000 Genomes Project data. The C allele and the C/C genotype showed greater frequencies in the clearance group (76.7% and 56.7%, respectively) when compared with both children with viral persistence (C allele 56.5%, p = 0.004; C/C genotype 32.7%, p = 0.02) and with the ethnically matched individuals (C allele 59.7%, p = 0.02; C/C genotype 34.7%, p = 0.03). Children with the C/C genotype were 2 times more likely to clear hepatitis C virus relative to children with the C/T and T/T genotypes combined (odds ratio: 2.7; 90% confidence intervals: 1.3-5.8). The present study provides the evidence that the rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism influences the natural history of hepatitis C virus in children.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere85899
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 17 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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