Specific human leukocyte antigen class I and II alleles associated with hepatitis C virus viremia§


  • Data in this article were collected by the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Collaborative Study Group with centers (Principal Investigators) at New York City/Bronx Consortium (Kathryn Anastos); Brooklyn, NY (Howard Minkoff); Washington DC Metropolitan Consortium (Mary Young); the Connie Wofsy Study Consortium of Northern California (Ruth Greenblatt); Los Angeles County/Southern California Consortium (Alexandra Levine); Chicago Consortium (Mardge Cohen); Data Coordinating Center (Stephen Gange).

  • The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

  • §

    Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Terrault has received research grants from Roche, Vertex, and Human Genome Sciences. All other authors have no conflicts.


Studies of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and their relation with hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia have had conflicting results. However, these studies have varied in size and methods, and few large studies assessed HLA class I alleles. Only one study conducted high-resolution class I genotyping. The current investigation therefore involved high-resolution HLA class I and II genotyping of a large multiracial cohort of U.S. women with a high prevalence of HCV and HIV. Our primary analyses evaluated associations between 12 HLA alleles identified through a critical review of the literature and HCV viremia in 758 HCV-seropositive women. Other alleles with >5% prevalence were also assessed; previously unreported associations were corrected for multiple comparisons. DRB1*0101 (prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1–2.6), B*5701 (PR=2.0; 95% CI = 1.0–3.1), B*5703 (PR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.0–2.5), and Cw*0102 (PR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.0–3.0) were associated with the absence of HCV RNA (i.e., HCV clearance), whereas DRB1*0301 (PR = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.2–0.7) was associated with HCV RNA positivity. DQB1*0301 was also associated with the absence of HCV RNA but only among HIV-seronegative women (PR = 3.4; 95% CI = 1.2–11.8). Each of these associations was among those predicted. We additionally studied the relation of HLA alleles with HCV infection (serostatus) in women at high risk of HCV from injection drug use (N = 838), but no significant relationships were observed. Conclusion: HLA genotype influences the host capacity to clear HCV viremia. The specific HLA associations observed in the current study are unlikely to be due to chance because they were a priori hypothesized. (HEPATOLOGY 2010.)