Correlation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and mutations in basal core promoter/precore with clinical features of chronic HBV infection


Prof. Hui Zhuang, Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, 38# Xueyuan Road, 100083 Beijing, China.
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Background/Aims: To investigate the correlation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and basal core promoter (BCP) and precore (PC) mutations in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Methods: HBV genotyping, nucleotide mutation, serum HBV DNA level and serological markers were analyzed in 121 patients with chronic HBV infection using INNO-LiPA HBV genotyping, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product-based sequencing, fluorescence quantitative PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays respectively.

Results: Forty (33.0%), 77 (63.6%), two (1.7%) and two (1.7%) patients had genotypes B, C, B/C and D infections respectively. Significant differences were found in serum HBV DNA levels (log10 copies/ml: 6.18 vs. 5.61, P=0.042) and mutations at nucleotide (nt) 1762/1764 (71.4% vs. 42.5%, P=0.002) between genotypes C- and B-infected patients. There were significant differences in the mean age, serum biochemical parameter levels and mutation rates in BCP/PC among hepatitis e antigen (HBeAg)-positive and -negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and liver cirrhosis (LC) groups.

Conclusion: Genotypes C and B are predominant in China, and the frequent nt 1762/1764 mutation, which occurs commonly in HBeAg-negative CHB, especially in genotype C patients, may be associated with the progress of chronic HBV infection.