Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) are common causative pathogens of viral hepatitis. Progression of both infections is determined by virus- and host-related factors. Cytokines are important host-genetic factors that may have a predisposing role in HBV and HCV infections. This case-control study evaluated the genetic association of IL4RA (rs1801275), IL6 (rs1800795), IL6 (rs1800797) and IL12B (rs3212227) variants with chronic HBV and HCV infections among Iraqi patients. A total of 220 viral hepatitis patients were enrolled in the study (113 HBV and 107 HCV), as well as 141 healthy subjects. Sequence-specific-primer (SSP)-polymerase-chain-reaction assay was the genotyping method. Results revealed that under dominant genetic model, IL6 variant was significantly associated with HBV infection, whereas no association with HCV risk was reported. However, the risk for both infections was markedly associated with IL6 variant under recessive, dominant and codominant genetic models. Estimation of IL6 -IL6 haplotypes depicted that G-A haplotype was significantly associated with an increased risk to develop HBV infection, while a significantly decreased risk was associated with G-G and C-G haplotypes. For HCV, G-G and C-A haplotypes were significantly associated with risk of HCV infection. IL4RA and IL12B variants showed not associated with HBV- or HCV-risk. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed no significant association between genotypes of the four determined SNPs and HBV or HCV viral load. In conclusion, the study supports the concept that IL6 variant is associated with susceptibility to HBV and HCV infections among Iraqis. Risk of HBV infection is further associated with IL6 variant. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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