Multiple drug-resistant HBV mutation may contribute to poor response of adefovir + entecavir in entecavir-resistant patients
Introduction: Adefovir plus entecavir (ADV+ETV) rescue therapy in ETV-resistant patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is suboptimal in some patients. This study aims to elucidate the evolutionary characteristics of drug-resistant HBV mutants and their association with clinical responses in such patients.
Methodology: Thirty-seven ETV-resistant patients were enrolled, among whom twelve had an inadequate virological response to ADV+ETV rescue therapy. The clonal sequence (³ 20 clones/sample) of HBV reverse transcriptase gene was performed to identify the resistance mutations. Phenotypic analysis was performed to evaluate the replication capacity and drug susceptibility of the mutants.
Results: ETV-resistant mutants were continuously detected in 10 of the 12 patients, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) mutants, including a novel strain (rtL180M+A181V+T184A+S202G+M204V), were detected in two patients. Seven of the 12 patients who subsequently received tenofovir (TDF)-based therapy for 38 (23−60) months all achieved undetectable HBV DNA after treatment, and ETV-resistant mutants converted to wild-type in the four patients’ samples. In contrast, the other five patients who did not achieve an adequate virological response had remaining of ETV-resistant mutants. The novel MDR strain exhibited multiple resistances to LAM, ADV, and ETV, and 11.2-fold lower susceptibility to TDF.
Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that MDR HBV mutations may contribute to the poor efficacy of ADV+ETV combination therapy in ETV-resistant patients. Moreover, a novel MDR HBV strain was identified. Our results indicate that a TDF-based rescue therapy would be effective for the treatment of the refractory cases.
Copyright (c) 2021 Jinman Shao, Yan Liu, Liming Liu, Rongjuan Chen, Li Zhao, Yi Zhou, Le Li, Xiaodong Li, Jin Li, Dongping Xu
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