Approximately three quarters of acute hepatitis C (HCV) infections evolve to a chronic state, while one quarter are spontaneously cleared. Genetic predispositions strongly contribute to the development of chronicity. We have conducted a genome-wide association study to identify genomic variants underlying HCV spontaneous clearance using ImmunoChip in European and African ancestries. We confirmed two previously reported significant associations, in the IL28B/IFNL4 and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) regions, with spontaneous clearance in the European population. We further fine-mapped the association in the MHC to a region of about 50 kilo base pairs, down from 1 mega base pairs in the previous study. Additional analyses suggested that the association in MHC is stronger in samples from North America than those from Europe.
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