Immunoglobulin GM and KM allotypes-genetic markers of γ and κ chains, respectively-are associated with immune responsiveness to several infectious pathogens and with survival in certain viral epidemics. We hypothesized that GM and KM allotypes affect the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To test this hypothesis, we serologically allotyped 100 persons with well-documented clearance of HCV infection and 198 matched persistently infected persons. None of the GM or KM phenotypes by itself was associated with the clearance or persistence of HCV infection. Particular combinations of these phenotypes, however, were significantly associated with the outcome of HCV infection. Subjects with GM 1,17 5,13 and KM 1,3 phenotypes were over three times (odds ratio [OR], 3.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1. 44 to 8.87) as likely to clear the infection as the subjects who lacked these phenotypes. This GM phenotype had a similar association with clearance in the absence of KM 3 (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.21 to 6.23). The presence of GM 1,3,17 23 5,13 phenotype (in the absence of KM 3) was associated with persistence (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.77), while its absence (in the presence of KM 1,3) was associated with the clearance of infection (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.16 to 3.54). These results show epistatic interactions of genes on chromosomes 14 (GM) and 2 (KM) in influencing the outcome of an HCV infection. Further investigations involving candidate genes (GM, KM, HLA, and Fcγ receptors) and cellular and humoral immune responses to HCV epitopes are needed to understand the mechanisms underlying these associations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science