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Nucleic acid sequence analysis of basal core promoter/precore/core region of hepatitis B virus isolated from chronic carriers of the virus from Kolkata, eastern India: low frequency of mutation in the precore region



Nucleic acid sequence analysis of basal core promoter/precore/core region of hepatitis B virus isolated from chronic carriers of the virus from Kolkata, eastern India: low frequency of mutation in the precore region



Intervirology 48(6): 389-399



The aim of the present study was to characterize the predominant hepatitis B virus (HBV) strains and their molecular variants present in the HBV isolates of the different genotypes found among the chronic carriers of the virus in our community. Precore/core and core promoter regions of HBV DNA were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and then subjected to direct sequencing. Of the 64 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive chronic HBV carriers investigated, 44 were HBeAg negative and 20 were HBeAg positive. In addition to genotype D, which was the predominant genotype, 12 genotype C (18.7%) and 6 genotype A (9.4%) were also detected. Presence of T at nt 1858 has often been related to the development of precore stop mutation at nt 1896, while that of C has been related to the development of 1762-1764 double mutation. In our study group, 39 of the 44 HBeAg-negative samples have T1858. The precore stop codon mutation was found in only 8 (18%) of the HBeAg-negative samples. More than half of the HBeAg-negative samples had wild-type sequence in the precore region. The core promoter region could be sequenced from 40 samples, and 1762-1764 double mutation was detected in 13 (32.5%) of them. No significant changes could be detected in the core amino acid sequence of these isolates. The pattern of core promoter and precore mutation of HBV isolates in the present study is atypical and not in accordance with reports from other parts of the world, where genotype D and genotype C with T at codon 1858 are common.

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Accession: 012366980

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PMID: 16024943

DOI: 10.1159/000086066


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