• lamivudine resistant variants;
  • lamivudine;
  • mutational patterns;
  • precore/core promoter mutations;
  • tyrosine–methionine–aspartate–aspartate (YMDD) mutant;
  • genotype

Summary.  The aims of this study were to investigate the viral differences among lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes B and C in vivo. Fifty-three patients carrying lamivudine-resistant HBV were enrolled in this study. HBV genotypes, Levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), HBV DNA levels were monitored during therapy. The polymerase and precore/core promoter genes were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and their products were sequenced directly. Among 53 patients resistant HBV genotypes B and C accounted for 41.50% and 58.50%, respectively. The occurrence of reverse transcriptase rt204I mutants was lower in genotype B (36.36%) than that in genotype C (87.10%), whereas rt204V mutants was higher in genotype B (63.64%) than that in genotype C (12.90%). The occurrence of precore mutation (nt1896A) was higher in genotype B (77.27%) than that in genotype C (32.26%). Serum HBV DNA levels after emergence of lamivudine resistance were higher in genotype C (7.71 ± 0.80 Log copies/mL) compared with genotype B (6.97 ± 0.77 Log copies/mL). Multivariate analysis identified pretreatment HBV DNA levels, HBeAg status and HBV genotype as independent factors associated with a shorter time to lamivudine resistance(P = 0.035, P = 0.006 and P = 0.001, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that HBV genotype (P = 0.004) and pretreatment ALT levels (P = 0.01) was independently associated with YMDD mutational patterns. The results showed that the YMDD mutational patterns, precore mutation and serum HBV DNA levels differ between lamivudine-resistant HBV genotypes B and C in vivo. It is valuable for treatment of lamivudine-resistant HBV in clinic.