Mutations within the HBc Gene of the Hepatitis B Virus: A Study on Iranian Patients
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Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious risk factor for several severe liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HBV, like other viruses, uses several mechanisms to escape from specific immune responses including the use of mutations in the genome which lead to epitope variations. There are several immune responses, including T helper cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and B cells, against the core antigen of HBV (HBcAg) that can lead to HBV eradication. Therefore, mutations within the HBc gene can lead to escape from immune responses by HBV and, hence, understanding the prevalence of HBc mutations among a specific population can be helpful for future treatment and vaccination. This review addresses the recent information regarding the prevalence of mutations within the HBc gene among Iranian HBV infected patients. Methods: The data presented here was collected gene sequences reported from Iran to the NCBI nucleotide GenBank. Results: Results showed that the prevalence of HBc gene mutations is frequent in Iranian HBV infected patients. Conclusions: Based on our searches it seems that escape from immune responses is a plausible reason for the high prevalence of HBc gene mutations among Iranian HBV infected patients.
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