Mutations in HBV DNA Polymerase Associated With Nucleos(t)ide Resistance Are Rare in Treatment-naive Patients CLINICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY Vutien, P., Trinh, H. N., Garcia, R. T., Nguyen, H. A., Levitt, B. S., Khanh Nguyen, K., da Silveira, E., Daugherty, T., Ahmed, A., Garcia, G., Lutchman, G. A., Nguyen, M. H. 2014; 12 (8): 1363-1370


Prior studies have detected hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA polymerase mutations in treatment naïve patients. However, most of these studies used either direct PCR sequencing, which detects these mutations with low levels of sensitivity, or patient cohorts that were not well characterized. We investigated the prevalence of HBV mutations in DNA polymerase using a line probe assay.In a prospective, cross-sectional study, we enrolled 198 treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis B (52.5% male, mean age 41 y), from February 2009 through May 2011, from 3 gastroenterology and liver clinics in Northern California. Exclusion criteria included infection with hepatitis C or D viruses or HIV. All patients completed a questionnaire (to determine demographics, history of liver disease, prior treatments, family medical history, drug and alcohol use, and environmental risk factors for hepatitis) that was administered by a research coordinator; mutations in HBV DNA polymerase were detected using the INNO-LiPA HBV DR v.3 assay.Most patients were Vietnamese (48.5%) or Chinese (36.4%), and were infected with HBV genotypes B (67.5%) or C (24.2%). Mutations in HBV DNA polymerase were found in 2 patients (1%): rtI233V (n = 1) and rtM250M/L (n = 1).In a multicenter prospective study of treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis B, we detected mutations in HBV DNA polymerase in only 1%. Given the low prevalence of these mutations and the uncertain clinical significance of such quasi-species, routine HBV DNA polymerase mutation analysis cannot be recommended before initiation of antiviral therapy for treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis B. The analysis requires further molecular and clinical studies.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cgh.2013.11.036

View details for Web of Science ID 000341119700026