Relationship of genotypes of hepatitis B virus to mutations, disease progression and response to antiviral therapy


Dr Anna Kramvis, Department of Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa. E-mail:


Summary.  Phylogenetic analysis has led to the classification of hepatitis B virus into eight genotypes, designated A to H. The genotypes have differences in biological properties and show heterogeneity in their global distribution. These attributes of the genotypes may account not only for differences in the prevalence of hepatitis B virus mutants in various geographic regions, but also be responsible for differences in the clinical outcome and response to antiviral treatment in different population groups.