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Impact of HBV genotypes A and D genetic variability on infection evolution

  • Authors: Urone, N.; Di Marco, V.; Cacopardo, B.; Craxì, A.; Ferraro, D.
  • Publication year: 2015
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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HBV is characterized by a high genetic variability, which is the basis of its classification into eight genotypes (A-H). HBV infection is associated with different outcomes, from self-limiting acute hepatitis to active chronic hepatitis, asymptomatic carriage, and occult infection.The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic variability of HBV genotypes A and D isolates from 79 cases of self-limiting acute hepatitis and chronic hepatitis, in order to identify HBV variants associated with resolution or chronicity of acute HBV infection. The entire preS-S sequence and a fragment of 346. bp of the preC-C region, containing Enhancer II and Basal Core Promoter sequences, were analyzed. A phylogenetic analysis of preS/S region showed that the 45.45% (15/33) of isolates from acute hepatitis cases were genotype A compared to 8.69% (4/46) of chronic hepatitis cases. (p=0.0002). Mutations associated with immune-escape (T131N, D144A/E, G145K), amino acid polymorphisms in ". a determinant" domain of S protein and mutations/deletions in preC/C region were found in isolates from acute and chronic hepatitis B cases. In this study mutations/deletions in preS-S and preC-C regions, usually associated with fulminant acute hepatitis, advanced forms of liver disease and increased risk for HCC, were identified in HBV strains of genotype A and D obtained both from patients with self-limiting acute HBV infection and from persistent infected patients. This founding probably is due to the natural viral evolution under host immune response and to the circulation of a wide variety of HBV strains in our geographic area because of the ancient introduction of genotype D and the migrant fluxes from North Africa. Moreover, the analysis of circulation of new HBV antigenic variants is fundamental for the epidemiological surveys and for the evaluation of the impact of viral evolution on vaccine prophylaxis strategies.