Response to interferon alfa is hepatitis B virus genotype dependent: genotype A is more sensitive to interferon than genotype D.

Klinik für Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie und Infektiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Moorenstr 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Gut (Impact Factor: 13.32). 07/2005; 54(7):1009-13. DOI: 10.1136/gut.2004.060327
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Current interferon alfa (IFN) treatment of chronic hepatitis B has limited efficacy. The role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes for response to IFN was investigated.
HBV genotype was determined by direct sequencing of the HBV X gene in 165 consecutive patients with chronic replicative hepatitis B treated with standard IFN. HBV genotype A or D was found in 144 cases.
Sustained response (six months after treatment) to standard IFN therapy was higher in HBV genotype A compared with HBV genotype D infected patients (49% v 26%; p<0.005). Sustained response to IFN was 46% versus 24% (p<0.03) in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive hepatitis (n = 99) and 59% versus 29% (p<0.05) in HBeAg negative hepatitis (n = 45) for HBV genotype A compared with HBV genotype D. HBeAg status had no negative impact on IFN response. Multivariate logistic regression identified HBV genotype A and high pretreatment alanine aminotransferase levels (>2 x upper limit of normal) as independent positive predictive parameters of IFN response.
The present study indicates that HBV genotypes A and D are important and independent predictors of IFN responsiveness in chronic hepatitis B. HBV genotype adapted treatment regimens may further improve treatment efficacy in chronic hepatitis B.

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