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Keywords:

  • basal core promoter;
  • genotype C;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • precore;
  • subgenotype

Abstract

Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C (HBV/C) has two subgenotypes: HBV/Cs and Ce. The prevalence and clinical implications of subgenotype Cs and Ce in Taiwanese HBV carriers remain unknown.

Methods: Subgenotypes of HBV/C were determined in 242 Taiwanese HBV carriers with various stages of liver disease. The clinical as well as virologic features between patients with HBV/Cs and HBV/Ce infection were further compared.

Results: HBV/Ce was the predominant subgenotype in Taiwan. The prevalence of HBV/Ce was 93.6% in the inactive carriers group, 84.2% in chronic hepatitis patients, 81.2% in cirrhosis patients, 92.5% in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients without cirrhosis and 91.9% in HCC patients with cirrhosis. There was no significant difference in the distribution of the HBV/C subgenotypes among patients with different stages of liver disease.

Conclusions: Subgenotypes of HBV/C may not have a clinical impact on the disease progression of chronic hepatitis B in Taiwan.