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Pediatr Res. 1992 Sep;32(3):264-8.

Mutations within the S gene of hepatitis B virus transmitted from mothers to babies immunized with hepatitis B immune globulin and vaccine.

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  • 1Immunology Division, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi-ken, Japan.


A variant of hepatitis B virus (HBV) having a specific mutation within the S gene has been found to infect vaccinees. To know whether similar variants were involved in Japan, we analyzed two cases of maternal transmission of HBV in infants immunized with hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine. DNA clones of HBV S genes were propagated from patients and family members and sequenced. In one family, the DNA clones from the baby patient had a Gly-to-Arg mutation at the 145th codon of the S gene, whereas those from her mother had no such mutations. In the other family, all the DNA clones obtained from the two infected children had the 145th codon intact, but they had a missense mutation at the 126th codon of the S gene, causing an amino acid substitution of Asn for Thr or Ile. This same mutation was observed in 12 of 17 clones of DNA obtained from their mother. In comparison with the wild type HBV-derived hepatitis B surface antigen, the two types of S gene mutations, either at the 145th or the 126th codon, were associated with a significant decrease in the antigenicity of some determinants on the hepatitis B surface antigen, measured by MAb. Amino acid substitution at these sites, therefore, would have induced the escape from conventional vaccines that were S gene products of wild type HBV and also from hepatitis B immune globulin, whose main components were probably also antibodies against the S gene products expressed by wild type HBV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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