Mutations in reverse transcriptase region of HBV affect Hepatitis B surface antigen titers and its correlation with HBV DNA
Introduction: The impact of mutations in the reverse transcriptase region of HBV on serum HBsAg titer and its correlation with HBV DNA is largely unknown.
Methodology: A total of 644 patients, with a history of lamivudine or adefovir dipivoxil resistance who underwent genotypic resistance tests, were enrolled in this study. Serum HBsAg, hepatitis B e antigen and HBV DNA were quantified, and the HBV RT region was sequenced and analyzed. Then, the patients were divided into five sub-groups, including M204I/V, L180M+M204I/V, A181T/V, N236T and A181T/V+N236T according to the mutation spectra.
Results: HBsAg was lower in the wild-type and A181T/V+N236T groups as compared to the M204I/V, L180M+M204I/V and N236T groups. HBsAg was positively correlated with HBV DNA levels in the wild-type group (r = 0.322, p < 0.01), as well as in the M204I/V, L180M+M204I/V, A181T/V, and N236T subgroups, while no correlation was found in the A181T/V+N236T subgroup (r = 0.159, p = 0.217). Moreover, for patients with N236T mutation, HBsAg was positively correlated with HBV DNA level in the HBeAg negative group (r = 0.435, p = 0.016), but not in the HBeAg positive group (r = 0.105, p = 0.594). For patients with A181T/V or N236T mutation, HBsAg was positively correlated with HBV DNA in older patients (≥ 40 years), but not in younger patients (< 40 years).
Conclusions: Serum HBsAg titer and its correlation with HBV DNA may be affected by mutations in the reverse transcriptase region of HBV, that should be re-evaluated in patients with antiviral resistance.
Copyright (c) 2019 Longgen Liu, hongyu shen, chunhua chen, chunyan ye, hongyu zhang, shuangxiong hang, min chen, zhen zhu, yuan xue
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