Doubtful role of IL28B polymorphism in occult Hepatitis B infection

Marta Bes, Victor Vargas, Maria Piron, Natalia Casamitjana, Juan Ignacio Esteban, Isabel Campos-Varela, Lluís Puig, Silvia Sauleda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel. Aims: To investigate the influence of IL28B polymorphism in occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) and whether IL28B genetic variants are associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific T-cell responses. Patients and Methods: The rs12979860 IL28B genotype was determined in 34 OBI blood donors, 22 spontaneous HBV resolvers, 36 inactive HBV carriers and 25 seronegative donors. T-cell responses to HBV recombinant proteins were assessed by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Results: The frequency of the IL28B CC genotype among OBI patients was similar to that of inactive carriers [41 vs. 39%, respectively, p = 0.961; odds ratio (OR) = 1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.42-2.86; p = 0.845]. The IL28B CC genotype was found more frequently in spontaneous resolvers, although the differences were not significant (45 vs. 39%, spontaneous resolvers and inactive carriers, respectively; p = 0.828; OR = 1.31; 95% CI = 0.45-3.83; p = 0.622). HBV-specific T-cell responses were detected in OBIs, and significantly stronger T-cell responses towards hepatitis B envelope antigen were observed in those with the IL28B CC genotype. In spontaneous resolvers and inactive carriers, IL28B CC did not correlate with the magnitude of T-cell responses. Conclusions: In OBI donors, IL28B CC correlates with the intensity of HBV-specific T-cell responses. In this study, IL28B CC is not statistically associated with OBI or with HBV clearance, but a larger number of cases is needed before completely ruling out its role in HBV infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Hepatitis B virus
  • IL28B genotype
  • Interferon-γ
  • Interferon-λ
  • Occult hepatitis B infection
  • T-cell immune response


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