J Korean Med Sci.  2011 Apr;26(4):546-550. 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.4.546.

Precore and Core Promoter Mutations of the Hepatitis B Virus Gene in Chronic Genotype C -Infected Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea. kskang@jejunu.ac.kr
  • 2Institute of Medical Science, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea.


The precore (G1896A) and core promoter (A1762T, G1764A) mutations of the hepatitis B virus gene are known to be associated with changes in immunologic phase or the progression to complicated liver disease in adults. We analyzed these mutations in chronically HBV-infected children. Serum was collected from 37 children with chronic HBV infection from March 2005 to September 2008. HBV DNA extraction and nested PCR were followed by sequencing of the PCR products. The children were 6.7 +/- 4.6 yr old. All of 37 children had HBV genotype C. Of the cohort, 31 (83.8%) were HBeAg-positive and 6 (16.2%) were HBeAg-negative; the former group comprised 18 (48.6%) who were in the immune-tolerance phase (ITP) and 13 (35.2%) in the immune-clearance phase (ICP). Most of the patients had HBV DNA levels of > 1.0 x 10(8) copies/mL. In the ITP group, only 1 (5.5%) had core promoter mutations, and none had the precore mutation. In the ICP group, only 2 (15.4%) had core promoter mutations; the remaining 6 patients had HBV DNA levels of < 2.0 x 10(3) copies/mL and no core promoter/precore mutations. The very low incidence of the precore/core promoter gene mutation, in children, suggests that these mutations may be the result of life-long chronic HBV infection.


Hepatitis B Virus; Mutation; Child

MeSH Terms

Alanine Transaminase/blood
Aspartate Aminotransferases/blood
Child, Preschool
Cohort Studies
DNA, Viral/blood
Hepatitis B Core Antigens/*genetics
Hepatitis B virus/*genetics
Hepatitis B, Chronic/immunology/*virology
Promoter Regions, Genetic
Sequence Analysis, DNA

Cited by  2 articles

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