Role of viral and host factors in interferon based therapy of hepatitis C virus infection
1 Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), 44000 Islamabad, Pakistan
2 Islam Dental College Sialkot, Sialkot, Pakistan
Virology Journal 2013, 10:299 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-299Published: 1 October 2013
The current standard of care (SOC) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN), Ribavirin and protease inhibitor for HCV genotype 1. Nevertheless, this treatment is successful only in 70-80% of the patients. In addition, the treatment is not economical and is of immense physical burden for the subject. It has been established now, that virus-host interactions play a significant role in determining treatment outcomes. Therefore identifying biological markers that may predict the treatment response and hence treatment outcome would be useful. Both IFN and Ribavirin mainly act by modulating the immune system of the patient. Therefore, the treatment response is influenced by genetic variations of the human as well as the HCV genome. The goal of this review article is to summarize the impact of recent scientific advances in this area regarding the understanding of human and HCV genetic variations and their effect on treatment outcomes. Google scholar and PubMed have been used for literature research. Among the host factors, the most prominent associations are polymorphisms within the region of the interleukin 28B (IL28B) gene, but variations in other cytokine genes have also been linked with the treatment outcome. Among the viral factors, HCV genotypes are noteworthy. Moreover, for sustained virological responses (SVR), variations in core, p7, non-structural 2 (NS2), NS3 and NS5A genes are also important. However, all considered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL28B and viral genotypes are the most important predictors for interferon based therapy of HCV infection.