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We would like to comment on the article entitled ‘Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection and the IL28B genotype polymorphism among blood donors and high-risk populations’.(1) Soh et al mentioned that “The high prevalence of the favourable IL28B CC genotype in our hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected population suggests that the PEG-IFN+RBV combination therapy remains a viable treatment option in selected situations or individuals.”(1) In fact, the effect of IL28B genotype polymorphism on antiviral treatment for HCV is well demonstrated. The study of genotypes might help predict the response to treatment in HCV-infected cases. However, there are also other human polymorphisms that can affect the response to HCV treatment. Good examples are polymorphisms of toll-like receptors.(2) In addition to host factor, the variant of the HCV is also observable and may relate to the response to the treatment. For example, the HCV NS3-Q80K polymorphism is strongly related to the response to EG-IFN+RBV combination therapy.(3) A single host polymorphism study alone may not lead to a conclusive recommendation on the use of EG-IFN+RBV combination therapy. It is, therefore, necessary to consider several polymorphisms and interrelation between human and pathogen polymorphisms.
1. Soh BYM, Kumar R, Ekstrom VSM, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection and the IL28B genotype polymorphism among blood donors and high-risk populations. Singapore Med J 2019; 60:34-9.
2. Sghaier I, Mouelhi L, Ghazoueni E, et al. Role of TLRs and IL-6 in the outcome of chronic hepatitis C treatment in Tunisian population. Cytokine 2017; 99:297-304.
3. Ruggiero T, Proietti A, Boglione L, et al. Predominance of hepatitis C virus Q80K among NS3 baseline-resistance-associated amino acid variants in direct-antiviral-agent-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis: single-centre experience. Arch Virol 2015; 160:2881-5.