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Summary

Interferon-α and ribavirin combined therapy has been a mainstream treatment for hepatitis C infection. The efficacy of this combined treatment is around 30% to 60%, and the factors affecting the responsiveness are still poorly defined. Our study is intended to investigate the genetic differences between responder and non-responder patients. The genome-wide linkage disequilibrium screening for loci associated with genetic difference between two patient groups was conducted by using 382 autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) markers involving 92 patients. We have identified 19 STR markers displaying different allele frequencies between the two patient groups. In addition, based on their genomic location and biological function, we selected the CD81 and IL15 genes to perform single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping. In conclusion, this study may provide a new approach for identifying the associated polymorphisms and the susceptible loci for interferon-α and ribavirin combined therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.