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Hepat Mon. 2013 Feb 18;13(2):e7415. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.7415. Print 2013 Feb.

Correlation between viral load of HBV in chronic hepatitis B patients and precore and Basal core promoter mutations.

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1
Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, IR Iran ; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, IR Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

More than two billion people have been exposed to hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. Furthermore, four hundred million of them are infected with chronic HBV infection. The predominant mutation of the precore region involves a G to A change at nucleotide1896, which creates a premature stop codon at codon 28. Two mutations of A1762T and G1764A are reported as the most prevalent mutations in the basal core promoter (BCP).

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between mutations in precore (PC) and basal core promoter regions, and the viral load.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Fifty serum samples from patients with hepatitis B were used. Levels of liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured at the same time of serological markers of hepatitis B by ELISA. HBV-DNA was extracted from the sera, and then PCR performed on the HBV-DNA extracted with the use of specific primer of gene C. HBV viral load was determined by real-time PCR. The PC/ BCP mutations were determined by applying Line Probe Assay technique. The data were analyzed using SPSS software, version 20.

RESULTS:

Only 82% of the patients were HBeAb positive and 76% of the patients had basal core/ precore mutations and mean viral load was 3/7 × 106 ± 9/7 × 105 IU/ml. Prevalence of mutations in the precore and basal core promoter regions were 46% and 30%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data indicated that there is a statistically significant relationship between HBV viral load and mutations in precore region (P < 0.05).

KEYWORDS:

Hepatitis B Virus; Mutations; Viral Load

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