The interferon sensitivity-determining region (ISDR) is thought to be inhibited by the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR). Several studies have reported a relationship between the ISDR and interferon (IFN) responsiveness. However, this relationship is controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate whether genomic heterogeneity of the ISDR among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2a affects the response to pegylated-IFN-alpha 2a monotherapy. Eighty patients (47 men, 33 women; mean age: 54.2±12.9 years) infected with HCV genotype 2a were evaluated. HCV viral loads were determined by real-time PCR. The ISDR (amino acids 2193-2228) was examined by direct sequencing. Thirty-one patients received subcutaneous injections of pegylated-IFN-alpha 2a (180 μg) once weekly for 24 weeks, and 35 patients received injections for 48 weeks. Fourteen patients withdrew from treatment. Of the remaining 66 patients, 51 (77.3%) showed a sustained virologic response. Factors related to sustained virologic response on multivariate analysis were rapid virologic response (negative HCV at 4 weeks; odds ratio: 0.033;95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.003-0.363; P=0.0052) and the number of mutations in the ISDR (odds ratio: 0.025; 95% CI 0.001-0.476; P=0.0141). There were no significant differences in other factors, including sex, age, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, platelet count, duration of treatment, and HCV viral load. Rapid virologic response and the ISDR sequence variations are significantly associated with response to pegylated-IFN-alpha 2a monotherapy in Japanese patients with HCV genotype 2a.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases