We investigated the overall and site-specific prevalence of pre-S mutations and its clinical significance in patients with genotype C hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Three hundred subjects were included: 50 asymptomatic carriers (AC), 87 chronic hepatitis (CH), 91 liver cirrhosis (LC) and 72 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Pre-S mutations were determined by nucleotide sequence analysis. Possible correlations between pre-S mutations and clinical/virological parameters were examined. Pre-S mutations were detected in 82 cases (27.3%); it was more frequently found in HCC (43.1%) and LC (35.2%) group than in the CH (20.7%) and AC (2.0%) group. Pre-S2 deletion was the most commonly found mutation (10.7%), followed by pre-S2 start codon mutation (9.7%), pre-S1-S2 deletion (3.0%) and both pre-S2 deletion and start codon mutation (2.7%). Pre-S2 deletion and pre-S2 start codon mutation were more frequently detected in advanced diseases (LC and HCC). Pre-S mutations were associated with older age and higher rates of positive HBV DNA (≥0.5 pg/mL). Advanced disease and positive HBV DNA were shown to be independent predictors of pre-S mutations by logistic regression analysis. These findings suggest that pre-S mutations, especially pre-S2 deletions and pre-S2 start codon mutations, are common in patients with genotype C HBV infection and are associated with advanced liver disease and active viral replication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases