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Occurrence of occult hepatitis B virus infection associated with envelope protein mutations according to anti-HBs carriage in blood donors

Abstract : Objectives: Occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) carries a risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission and hepatocellular carcinoma. As previous studies have had a limited sample size, the characteristics of OBI with genotype B and C (OBIB and OBIC) mutations relating to hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) elicited by vaccination or a limited host immune response to HBV have not been fully explored. Methods: In this study, the occurrence of OBIB or OBIC strains associated with envelope protein (pre-S/S) amino acid substitutions obtained from 99 blood donors stratified according to anti-HBs carriage were characterized extensively. Results: According to the presence of anti-HBs within each genotype, the number and frequency of substitution sites specific for anti-HBs(-) OBIB were higher than those specific for anti-HBs(+) OBIB strains (67 vs 31; 117 vs 41), but the reverse pattern was found in OBIC strains (3 vs 24; 3 vs 26). Mutations pre-s1T68I and sQ129R/L were found uniquely in 15-25% of anti-HBs(+) OBIB carriers and mutation pre-s1A54E was found preferentially in anti-HBs(+) OBIC, while 17 substitutions were found preferentially in 11-38% of anti-HBs(-) OBIB strains. In the major hydrophilic region (MHR) region, mutations sS167 in OBIB, sT118 in OBIC, and sA166 in both genotypes were possibly immune-induced escape mutation sites. Conclusions: Several mutations in pre-S/S of OBI appeared to be associated with carrier anti-HBs pressure, which might be risk factors for potential reactivation of viruses under anti-HBs selection in OBI carriers.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03237659
Contributor : Daniel Candotti <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 5:24:28 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 28, 2021 - 8:46:19 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, August 27, 2021 - 8:40:59 PM

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Jiawen Wang, Panli Zhang, Jinfeng Zeng, Peng Du, Xin Zheng, et al.. Occurrence of occult hepatitis B virus infection associated with envelope protein mutations according to anti-HBs carriage in blood donors. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Elsevier, 2020, 92, pp.38-45. ⟨10.1016/j.ijid.2019.12.026⟩. ⟨inserm-03237659⟩

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