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Evolutionary pattern of full hepatitis B virus genome during sequential nucleos(t)ide analog therapy

Antiviral Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2011.03.183
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Full Genome
  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Mutations
  • Medicine


Abstract The evolutionary and mutational pattern of full hepatitis B virus (HBV) quasispecies during sequential nucleos(t)ide analog (NUC) therapy remains unclear. In this study, full-length HBV clones were generated from serial serum samples of five chronic hepatitis B patients who received sequential NUC therapies (treated patients) and two untreated patients with acute flares. The evolutionary and mutational patterns of full HBV quasispecies were studied. In the three treated patients who received lamivudine as initial antiviral therapy, nucleotide polymorphism and nonsynonymous divergence all decreased at lamivudine breakthrough but increased after rescue therapies. Conversely, two other treated patients showed a distinct change in divergence during adefovir–telbivudine sequential therapies. Untreated subjects exhibited increased polymorphism and divergence in the preC/C region at ALT flare. Four of the treated patients presented amino acid changes in the “a” determinant during NUC therapy. All of the treated subjects showed amino acid changes within the known T-cell or B-cell epitopes in the surface or core antigen, most of which were accompanied by mutations in reverse transcriptase (RT) region. Co-variations in the core promoter, the preC region and in the known epitopes of the preS gene accompanied by RT mutations, were common. In untreated patients, most of these co-variations located in the preC/C gene. In conclusion, the distribution of genetic variability of HBV shows remarkably different patterns between the treated and untreated subjects and the quasispecies divergence of different regions of HBV may vary remarkably even within a single host.

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