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Keywords:

  • chronic hepatitis C;
  • genetics;
  • IL28;
  • interferon lambda;
  • single nucleotide polymorphism;
  • treatment response

Summary.  Recently, genome-wide association studies in patients affected by HCV infection have identified a strong association between sustained virological response to peg-interferon/ribavirin and spontaneous viral clearance and common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the IL28B gene, encoding for interferon-lambda-3. Thus, it is anticipated that IL28B genotype determination will be integrated in clinical practice to guide treatment decisions. Here, we describe a simple tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system polymerase chain reaction (T-ARMS-PCR) for the evaluation of the rs12979860 C>T IL28B SNP, for which strong evidence of association with clinical outcomes has been collected in subjects of European descent. Valid genotypic data were obtained for over 99% of subjects analysed, and T-ARMS-PCR procedures were validated by the analysis of DNA samples of 164 patients with chronic HCV infection. In conclusion, this method allows rapid, reproducible, inexpensive and accurate detection of rs12979860 polymorphism without need of any special equipment and is also suitable for evaluation of a low number of samples on a routine basis.