Source Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
We studied the prevalence and distribution of precore/basal core promoter (BCP) mutations and hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes in HBV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) dually-infected patients, and evaluated their impact on long-term HBV response of interferon (IFN)-based therapy. The HBV genotypes and sequences of the precore/BCP regions were determined in 180 HBV/HCV dually-infected patients and were compared with 90 age, sex and hepatitis B e antigen-matched chronic hepatitis B controls. Serum HBV DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were assessed every 3-6months after therapy with IFN or pegylated-IFN plus ribavirin in 135 dually-infected patients with active hepatitis C.
Dually-infected patients had a higher prevalence of genotype C HBV (P=0.022) and a lower frequency of G1896A mutation (P=0.004) as compared with controls. Among dually-infected patients, genotype C was associated with a higher frequency of A1762T/G1764A mutation (P<0.001), but with lower HBV DNA (P<0.001) and a lower frequency of A1752T/G (P=0.008), C1799G (P<0.001) and G1896A mutation (P<0.001) than genotype B. Based on Cox proportional hazards model, young age (hazard ratio (HR)=0.952, P=0.001), sustained virological response to HCV (HR=4.638, P=0.044), C1766T mutation (HR=5.216, P=0.003) and A1846T mutation (HR=2.332, P=0.031) correlated with HBV DNA reactivation (⩾2000IU/ml) after therapy. Age (HR=1.068, P=0.020), G1896A mutation (HR=0.140, P=0.01) and A1846T mutation (HR=0.086, P=0.018) were associated with HBsAg seroclearance independently.
In conclusion, specific mutations in the precore/BCP regions could be useful in predicting long-term HBV response in HBV/HCV dually-infected patients treated with IFN-based therapy.