The Impact of IL28B Genetic Variants on Recurrent Hepatitis C in Liver Transplantation: Significant Lessons from a Dual Graft Case


Corresponding author: Akinobu Taketomi,


IL28B genetic polymorphism is related to interferon-sensitivity in chronic hepatitis C, but the significance of grafts carrying different genotypes from recipients is still unclear in liver transplantation. A 51-year-old Japanese male carrying a minor genotype underwent dual liver transplantation for liver cirrhosis due to hepatitis C virus (HCV). The left lobe graft carried a major genotype, and the right a minor genotype. He achieved virological response during the course of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin therapy against recurrent hepatitis C for 2 years, but HCV relapsed immediately at the end of the therapy. Two years after antiviral therapy, liver biopsy was performed from each graft. The specimens showed A1F0 in the left lobe graft and A2F2 in the right. Moreover, quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed using RNA extracted from each specimen to see there was no HCV RNA in the left lobe whereas there was in the right. This case provides clear evidence that IL28B genetic variants determine interferon sensitivity in recurrent hepatitis C following liver transplantation, which could result in new strategies for donor selection or for posttransplant antiviral therapy to HCV positive recipients.