Introduction: Treatment of HCV using a combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin fails in about 40% of the patients with HCV genotype 4 infections, and it is physically and economically demanding. Thus, it is highly important to identify factors that can help to predict the likelihood that a patient will respond to this treatment. 

Methods: In this study, five miRNAs, i.e., miRNA-122, miRNA-199, miRNA-192, miRNA-30, and miRNA-128, were selected according to previous studies that demonstrated their noticeable functions in viral replication, indicating that they potentially could be used by host cells to control viral infections. The five miRNAs were measured using real-time, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions. The data were analyzed using the t-test and chi-squared test.

Results: We found that the expression level of miRNA-122 was significantly increased in the responders’ group (p < 0.01) over that in the non-responders’ groups before and after treatment; both increased significantly (p < 0.01) compared with the normal control group. 

Conclusion: miR-122 might be a useful predictor for virological responses to treatment with PEG-interferon plus ribavirin therapy in patients with HCV.


Keywords: microRNA, Interferon, Chronic Hepatitis C, HCV, pegylated interferon
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