Background & Aims: Common IL28B locus polymorphisms (SNPs rs8099917 and rs12979860) have been reported to affect peg-interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy (PEG-RBV) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b, but few reports have examined their effect on other two common genotypes, 2a and 2b. Methods: We analyzed predictive factors for sustained virological response (SVR) in a retrospective study of 719 patients with either genotype 2a (530) or 2b (189). Of these patients, 160 were treated with PEG-RBV and 559 were treated with interferon monotherapy. We evaluated predictive factors including HCV RNA, histological findings, IL28B SNP genotypes (rs8099917, rs12979860, and rs12980275), and the effect of treatment regimen and prior treatment history. Results: HCV RNA viral load, treatment regimen, and rs8099917 genotypes independently contributed to the effect of the therapy. For patients treated with PEG-RBV, rs8099917 and viral load were independent predictive factors for SVR in genotype 2b but not in genotype 2a. Conversely, in patients treated with interferon monotherapy, viral load and rs8099917 were independent predictive factors for SVR in genotype 2a but not in genotype 2b. The favorable rs8099917 genotype is also associated with a steep decline in viral load by the second week of treatment. Conclusions: Initial viral load and rs8099917 genotype are significant independent predictors of SVR in genotype 2 patients.
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