Not uncommon: HBV genotype G co-infections among healthy European HBV carriers with genotype A and E infection

  • Background & Aims: HBV genotype G (HBV/G) is mainly found in co-infections with other HBV genotypes and was identified as an independent risk factor for liver fibrosis. This study aimed to analyse the prevalence of HBV/G co-infections in healthy European HBV carriers and to characterize the crosstalk of HBV/G with other genotypes. Methods: A total of 560 European HBV carriers were tested via HBV/G-specific PCR for HBV/G co-infections. Quasispecies distribution was analysed via deep sequencing, and the clinical phenotype was characterized regarding qHBsAg-/HBV-DNA levels and frequent mutations. Replicative capacity and expression of HBsAg/core was studied in hepatoma cells co-expressing HBV/G with either HBV/A, HBV/D or HBV/E using bicistronic vectors. Results: Although no HBV/G co-infection was found by routine genotyping PCR, HBV/G was detected by specific PCR in 4%-8% of patients infected with either HBV/A or HBV/E but only infrequently in other genotypes. In contrast to HBV/E, HBV/G was found as the quasispecies major variant in co-infections with HBV/A. No differences in the clinical phenotype were observed for HBV/G co-infections. In vitro RNA and DNA levels were comparable among all genotypes, but expression and release of HBsAg was reduced in co-expression of HBV/G with HBV/E. In co-expression with HBV/A and HBV/E expression of HBV/G-specific core was enhanced while core expression from the corresponding genotype was markedly diminished. Conclusions: HBV/G co-infections are common in European inactive carriers with HBV/A and HBV/E infection, but sufficient detection depends strongly on the assay. HBV/G regulated core expression might play a critical role for survival of HBV/G in co-infections.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Michael Basic, Alica KubeschORCiDGND, Lisa Kuhnhenn, Esra Görgülü, Fabian FinkelmeierORCiDGND, Julia DietzORCiDGND, Mate KnabeORCiD, Victoria T. Mücke, Marcus Maximilian MückeORCiDGND, Annemarie BergerGND, Stefan ZeuzemORCiDGND, Christoph SarrazinGND, Eberhard HildtORCiDGND, Kai-Henrik Peiffer
Parent Title (English):Liver international
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/31
Date of first Publication:2021/03/31
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/04
Tag:HBV; co-infection; core expression; genotype G; prevalence
Page Number:12
First Page:1278
Last Page:1289
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 4.0