Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health issue worldwide. Several factors including core gene variation are responsible for the development of chronicity of HBV infection. The present study was designed to identify the variations in the core region of the HBV genome in a local population of chronic hepatitis B patients ( n = 57) using a PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. Fifty subjects were found to be positive for the presence of HBV DNA. For the core region genotyping, the Ava II and Msp I restriction enzymes were used. Mutations at nucleotide (nt) 2147 and nt 2362 in the HBV genome in the core region for Ava II (A4 type, 74%) and nt 2331 for Msp I (M1 type, 66%) were observed as the most common pattern. These results are different from those of previously reported studies on other populations and thus appear to be unique to the Pakistani population. This type of characterization of core mutants may be useful for the design of vaccines based on viral epitopes that are effective for the Pakistani population. Moreover, these unique genotypic patterns for the HBV core gene might be some of the main factors responsible for understanding the underlying mechanism by which HBV chronicity is developed in the Pakistani population.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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