The IFNL3/4 ΔG variant increases susceptibility to cytomegalovirus retinitis among HIV-infected patients.

Bibert, Stéphanie; Wojtowicz, Agnieszka; Taffé, Patrick; Manuel, Oriol; Bernasconi, Enos; Furrer, Hansjakob; Günthard, Huldrych F; Hoffmann, Matthias; Kaiser, Laurent; Osthoff, Michael; Cavassini, Matthias; Bochud, Pierre-Yves (2014). The IFNL3/4 ΔG variant increases susceptibility to cytomegalovirus retinitis among HIV-infected patients. AIDS, 28(13), pp. 1885-1889. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000379

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BACKGROUND Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a major cause of visual impairment and blindness among patients with uncontrolled HIV infections. Whereas polymorphisms in interferon-lambda 3 (IFNL3, previously named IL28B) strongly influence the clinical course of hepatitis C, few studies examined the role of such polymorphisms in infections due to viruses other than hepatitis C virus. OBJECTIVES To analyze the association of newly identified IFNL3/4 variant rs368234815 with susceptibility to CMV-associated retinitis in a cohort of HIV-infected patients. DESIGN AND METHODS This retrospective longitudinal study included 4884 white patients from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, among whom 1134 were at risk to develop CMV retinitis (CD4 nadir <100 /μl and positive CMV serology). The association of CMV-associated retinitis with rs368234815 was assessed by cumulative incidence curves and multivariate Cox regression models, using the estimated date of HIV infection as a starting point, with censoring at death and/or lost follow-up. RESULTS A total of 40 individuals among 1134 patients at risk developed CMV retinitis. The minor allele of rs368234815 was associated with a higher risk of CMV retinitis (log-rank test P = 0.007, recessive mode of inheritance). The association was still significant in a multivariate Cox regression model (hazard ratio 2.31, 95% confidence interval 1.09-4.92, P = 0.03), after adjustment for CD4 nadir and slope, HAART and HIV-risk groups. CONCLUSION We reported for the first time an association between an IFNL3/4 polymorphism and susceptibility to AIDS-related CMV retinitis. IFNL3/4 may influence immunity against viruses other than HCV.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Furrer, Hansjakob


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2014 17:29

Last Modified:

25 Aug 2015 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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