The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Genetic variation in IL28B and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus

Thomas, David L., Thio, Chloe L., Martin, Maureen P., Qi, Ying, Ge, Dongliang, O'Huigin, Colm, Kidd, Judith, Kidd, Kenneth, Khakoo, Salim I., Alexander, Graeme, Goedert, James J., Kirk, Gregory D., Donfield, Sharyne M., Rosen, Hugo R., Tobler, Leslie H., Busch, Michael P., McHutchison, John G., Goldstein, David B. and Carrington, Mary (2009) Genetic variation in IL28B and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus Nature, 461, (7265), pp. 798-801. (doi:10.1038/nature08463). (PMID:19759533).

Record type: Article


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, with estimates of 4 million HCV-infected individuals in the United States and 170 million worldwide. Most (70-80%) HCV infections persist and about 30% of individuals with persistent infection develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Epidemiological, viral and host factors have been associated with the differences in HCV clearance or persistence, and studies have demonstrated that a strong host immune response against HCV favours viral clearance. Thus, variation in genes involved in the immune response may contribute to the ability to clear the virus. In a recent genome-wide association study, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12979860) 3 kilobases upstream of the IL28B gene, which encodes the type III interferon IFN-3, was shown to associate strongly with more than a twofold difference in response to HCV drug treatment. To determine the potential effect of rs12979860 variation on outcome to HCV infection in a natural history setting, we genotyped this variant in HCV cohorts comprised of individuals who spontaneously cleared the virus (n = 388) or had persistent infection (n = 620). We show that the C/C genotype strongly enhances resolution of HCV infection among individuals of both European and African ancestry. To our knowledge, this is the strongest and most significant genetic effect associated with natural clearance of HCV, and these results implicate a primary role for IL28B in resolution of HCV infection.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 16 September 2009
Published date: 8 October 2009
Keywords: hepatitis c, IL28B gene
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 336184
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 634439eb-c2d5-4034-a5fd-25d0676dfc97

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Mar 2012 14:54
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:09

Export record



Author: David L. Thomas
Author: Chloe L. Thio
Author: Maureen P. Martin
Author: Ying Qi
Author: Dongliang Ge
Author: Colm O'Huigin
Author: Judith Kidd
Author: Kenneth Kidd
Author: Salim I. Khakoo
Author: Graeme Alexander
Author: James J. Goedert
Author: Gregory D. Kirk
Author: Sharyne M. Donfield
Author: Hugo R. Rosen
Author: Leslie H. Tobler
Author: Michael P. Busch
Author: John G. McHutchison
Author: David B. Goldstein
Author: Mary Carrington

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.