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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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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.



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).


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


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.


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.


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


Hepatitis B Virus; Mutations; Viral Load

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