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J Med Virol. 2017 Nov;89(11):1958-1962. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24886. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Association between mitochondrial DNA content and baseline serum levels of HBsAg in chronic hepatitis B infection.

Chen T1,2, Xun Z1,2, Lin J1,2, Fu Y1,2, Wu W1,2, Fu X1,2, Hu Y1,3, Zeng Y1,2, Ou Q1,2.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China.
First Clinical College, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China.
Department of Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China.


Recent studies have demonstrated a potential link between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, there are few studies evaluating mtDNA content as a noninvasive marker of chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB). In this study, we conducted a case-control study to determine mtDNA content in peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) samples from 76 CHB cases naïve to antivirus therapy and 96 healthy controls, and then evaluated the association between mtDNA content and baseline serum concentration of HBV markers. Consequently, CHB cases had significantly higher mtDNA content than healthy controls (1052.85 vs 618.98, P < 0.001). Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that mtDNA content was negatively correlated with the baseline levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) (r = -0.291, P = 0.011) in CHB patients. In a trend analysis, a statistically significant association was detected between lower mtDNA content and increasing levels of HBsAg (P = 0.015). In conclusion, our study provides the first epidemiological evidence that mtDNA content of CHB cases naive to antivirus therapy is significantly higher than healthy controls and the levels of mtDNA content is negatively associated with HBsAg. mtDNA content may serve as a potential noninvasive biomarker of CHB which may need more researches to validate.


HBsAg; chronic hepatitis B infection; mitochondrial DNA; noninvasive biomaker; peripheral blood leukocyte

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