Serum apolipoprotein B-100 concentration predicts the virological response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy in patients infected with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1b

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Host lipoprotein metabolism is associated closely with the life cycle of hepatitis C virus (HCV), and serum lipid profiles have been linked to the response to pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) therapy. Polymorphisms in the human IL28B gene and amino acid substitutions in the core and interferon sensitivity-determining region (ISDR) in NS5A of HCV genotype 1b (G1b) were also shown to strongly affect the outcome of Peg-IFN plus RBV therapy. In this study, an observational cohort study was performed in 247 HCV G1b-infected patients to investigate whether the response to Peg-IFN and RBV combination therapy in these patients is independently associated with the level of lipid factors, especially apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100), an obligatory structural component of very low density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein. The multivariate logistic analysis subsequently identified apoB-100 (odds ratio (OR), 1.602; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.046–2.456), alpha-fetoprotein (OR, 0.764; 95% CI, 0.610–0.958), non-wild-type ISDR (OR, 5.617; 95% CI, 1.274–24.754), and the rs8099917 major genotype (OR, 34.188; 95% CI, 10.225–114.308) as independent factors affecting rapid initial virological response (decline in HCV RNA levels by ≥3-log10 at week 4). While lipid factors were not independent predictors of complete early or sustained virological response, the serum apoB-100 level was an independent factor for sustained virological response in patients carrying the rs8099917 hetero/minor genotype. Together, we conclude that serum apoB-100 concentrations could predict virological response to Peg-IFN plus RBV combination therapy in patients infected with HCV G1b, especially in those with the rs8099917 hetero/minor genotype.

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