J Korean Med Sci.  2001 Jun;16(3):359-362. 10.3346/jkms.2001.16.3.359.

Emergence of vaccine-induced escape mutant of hepatitis b virus with multiple surface gene mutations in a korean child

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Laboratory of Liver and Digestive Disease, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. sung_woncho@hotmail.com


The S protein of hepatitis B virus is the principal component of virus envelope and the primary target of anti-HBs response. Mutants or variants that escape neutralization by anti-HBs have been selected during immunoprophylaxis of HBV after birth and liver transplantation. We investigated a case of a Korean child who was vaccinated at birth against hepatitis B and also given hepatitis B immunoglobulin, but nevertheless later became infected with the virus. Hepatitis B virus-specific deoxyribonucleic acid covering the region of genome encoding the predominant "a" determinant of hepatitis surface antigen was amplified using polymerase chain reaction, and the nucleotide sequence was determined. We present for the first time in Korea the independent emergence of an escape mutant with substitution of arginine for glycine at amino acid 145 and proline for glutamate at amino acid 120 in "a" determinant after immunization.


Escape Mutant; Immunoprophylasis; Hepatitis B Virus; Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
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