• hepatitis C virus;
  • human;
  • interleukin 28B;
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms;
  • spontaneous clearance


Background and Aim

Recent studies suggested that interleukin 28B (IL28B) polymorphisms may affect spontaneous clearance (SC) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Our purpose was to update the meta-analysis to reevaluate the impact of IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 polymorphisms on SC in patients infected with HCV.


We searched PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase up to February 2013. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by fixed- or random-effects models. Heterogeneity, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias were also assessed.


Seventeen eligible papers were involved in this study. The SC rate was higher in patients with the rs12979860 CC (vs CT/TT OR = 2.98, 95% CI 2.53–3.50) and rs8099917 TT (vs GT/GG OR = 2.80, 95% CI 2.23–3.51) in the IL28B polymorphisms. Ethnicity stratification revealed that rs12979860 CC was associated with SC for Caucasians (vs CT/TT OR = 3.05, 95% CI 2.67–3.49), Asians (vs CT/TT OR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.33–2.66), and Africans (vs CT/TT OR = 3.15, 95% CI 2.39–4.15); rs8099917 TT was associated with SC for Caucasians (vs GT/GG OR = 2.48, 95% CI 1.96–3.15).


IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 single nucleotide polymorphisms are significantly associated with SC of HCV infection. The predictive value of rs12979860 CC was stronger in Caucasians and Africans than in Asians.