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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 13595-13609; doi:10.3390/ijms160613595

Association of preS/S Mutations with Occult Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection in South Korea: Transmission Potential of Distinct Occult HBV Variants

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Liver Research Institute, Cancer Research Institute and SNUMRC, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-799, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tatsuo Kanda
Received: 24 February 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Hepatitis Research)
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Abstract

Occult hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) is characterized by HBV DNA positivity but HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) negativity. Occult HBV infection is associated with a risk of HBV transmission through blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and liver transplantation. Furthermore, occult HBV infection contributes to the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We recently reported the characteristic molecular features of mutations in the preS/S regions among Korean individuals with occult infections caused by HBV genotype C2; the variants of preS and S related to severe liver diseases among chronically infected patients were also responsible for the majority of HBV occult infections. We also reported that HBsAg variants from occult-infected Korean individuals exhibit lower HBsAg secretion capacity but not reduced HBV DNA levels. In addition, these variants exhibit increased ROS-inducing capacity compared with the wild-type strain, linking HBV occult infections to liver cell damage. Taken together, our previous reports suggest the transmission potential of distinct HBV occult infection-related variants in South Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis B virus infection (HBV); occult infection; South Korea; HBV surface antigen (HBsAg); preS/S mutations; genotype C2 hepatitis B virus infection (HBV); occult infection; South Korea; HBV surface antigen (HBsAg); preS/S mutations; genotype C2
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, H.; Kim, B.-J. Association of preS/S Mutations with Occult Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection in South Korea: Transmission Potential of Distinct Occult HBV Variants. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 13595-13609.

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