IL28B SNP screening and distribution in the French Canadian population using a rapid PCR-based test.
Gélinas JF., Fabre T., Willems P., Leung RC., George J., Willems B., Bruneau J., Shoukry NH.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the proximity of the interleukin-28B (IL28B) gene can predict spontaneous resolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and response to interferon therapy. Screening for this polymorphism has become part of the standard criteria for the management of HCV-infected patients, hence the need for a rapid, cost-effective screening method. Here, we describe a rapid PCR-based test to screen for two IL28B SNPs (rs12979860 and rs8099917). We used this test to investigate IL28B polymorphism and prevalence in a cohort of French Canadian injection drug users who are part of a unique population known to have a strong genetic founder effect. This population had lower linkage disequilibrium between the two tested SNPs as compared to other cohorts (|d'| = 0.68, r = 0.59). The special genetic makeup should be considered in the management of HCV-infected patients within that population.