There are inconsistent data on the association of risk of hepatitis virus infection and hepatitis virus-related diseases with the toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) gene.
Several common polymorphism sites were targeted to assess the risk of HBV infection, HCV infection, and HBV-related diseases.
Meta-analysis combining data for 3547 cases and 2797 controls from 8 studies was performed in this study. Pooled ORs were calculated to measure the risk of hepatitis virus infection and hepatitis virus-related diseases. Fixed-effects pooled ORs were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel method.
The TLR3 gene was associated with a significantly increased risk of HBV-related diseases among 1355 patients and 1130 controls ([pooled OR, [95%CI]: 1.30, [1.15–1.48] for dominant; 1.77, [1.35–2.31] for recessive; 1.28 [1.16–1.41] for allele frequency). Subgroup analyses by a polymorphism site indicated an increased risk of HCV infection in relation to the TT/CT genotypes of rs3775291 (1.50 [1.11–2.01]), and a decreased risk ascribed to the T allele (0.20 [0.16–0.25]). We also noted an association between rs3775291 and significantly increased risk of HBV-related diseases (2.23 [1.55–3.21]). No significant inter-study heterogeneity or publication bias was detected in the analyses.
These data suggest a likely effect on the risk to infect HCV and develop HBV-related diseases for the TLR3 gene. Large-scale studies with racially diverse populations are required to validate these findings.