Basal core promoter and precore mutations among hepatitis B virus circulating in Brazil and its association with severe forms of hepatic diseases

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In Brazil, few studies have investigated the prevalence of infection with the precore (PC) and basal core promoter (BCP) mutants of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to analyse the frequency of PC and BCP mutations among patients infected with HBV and to evaluate the association between the variants and advanced hepatic disease. METHODS: A total of 161 patients infected with HBV were studied. To identify PC and BCP mutations, a 501-bp fragment of HBV DNA was amplified and sequenced. FINDINGS: PC and BCP regions from HBV strains were successfully amplified and sequenced in 129 and 118 cases, respectively. PC and BCP mutations were detected in 61.0% and 80.6% of the cases, respectively. The A1762T/G1764A variant was identified in 36.7% of the patients with grade 1 and 2 liver fibrosis (29/79) and in 81.8% of the patients with grade 3 and 4 liver fibrosis (9/11) (p < 0.01); in 76.9% of the patients with cirrhosis (10/13) and in 38.1% of the patients without cirrhosis (40/105) (p = 0.01); and in 77.8% of the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (7/9) and in 39.4% of the patients without HCC (43/109) (p = 0.03). MAIN CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of HBV PC and BCP mutants was found. The A1762T/G1764A variant was independently associated with advanced forms of liver fibrosis, hepatic cirrhosis, and HCC.

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Chachá, S. G. F., Gomes-Gouvêa, M. S., Malta, F. de M., Ferreira, S. da C., Villanova, M. G., Souza, F. F., … Martinelli, A. de L. C. (2017). Basal core promoter and precore mutations among hepatitis B virus circulating in Brazil and its association with severe forms of hepatic diseases. Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 112(9), 626–631. https://doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760160540

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