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Keywords:

  • hepatitis B;
  • interleukin 28B;
  • interferon-lamda 3;
  • single nucleotide polymorphism

rs12979860 in interleukin 28B (IL28B) gene is associated with response to interferon-α therapy and natural viral clearance in hepatitis C. The role of this polymorphism is less known in hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We evaluated whether rs12979860 was associated with outcomes of HBV infection. There were 651 individuals with persistent infection (387 with liver cirrhosis, 264 without cirrhosis) and 226 healthy individuals who recovered from HBV infection. The genotypic distributions were compared between different phenotypes pertaining to disease progression and HBV markers. The polymorphism had no association with clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B e antigen, HBV-DNA level, apparent hepatitis onset and liver cirrhosis (P > 0.05). These results suggest that rs12979860 does not have such a strong effect in hepatitis B compared to hepatitis C.