Hepatitis B virus genotype, HBsAg mutations and co-infection with HCV in occult HBV infection
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Background: The association between mutations in the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) gene and the occurrence of occult HBV (OBI) in patients has not been studied adequately to determine if the two are correlated. The current study was aimed to investigate HBsAg mutations, the genotype of HBV and co-infection with HCV in OBI in the central part of Iran to determine any possible associations. Material and methods: In this study, 3700 plasma samples were examined for the presence of HBsAg, anti-HBc and HBV-DNA. All HBsAg-/anti-HBc+/HBV-DNA+ samples were regarded as OBI. The genotype of HBV was identified using Gap-PCR and RT-PCR was used to determine possible co-infection with HCV. Finally, direct sequencing was performed to analyse mutations within the surface antigen gene of HBV in occult versus acute HBV infection. Results: Of the 3700 patient samples analysed, 352 (9.5%) cases were determined to be HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ in which HBV-DNA was detected in 57 (16.1%), these latter patients were classified as OBI. All of the patients studied carried the D genotype. Direct sequencing of the S-gene from occult and acute HBV patients revealed one silent and one glycine to arginine mutation but the acute HBV patients showed an additional mutation (alanine to threonine). All the mutations were outside the range of the alpha-determinant. Furthermore, none of the OBI patients were co-infected with HCV.
Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology
© 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Medical Genetics (excl. Cancer Genetics)
Clinical Chemistry (diagnostics)
Humoural Immunology and Immunochemistry