Molecular Characterization of HBV Strains Circulating among the Treatment-Naive HIV/HBV Co-Infected Patients of Eastern India
HIV infection has a significant impact on the natural progression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) related liver disease. In HIV-HBV co-infected patients, little is known about mutations in the HBV genome, which can influence severity of liver disease. The aim of this study was to characterize and to determine the frequency of known clinically significant mutations in the HBV genomes from HIV-HBV co-infected patients and from HBV mono-infected patients. To accomplish this, genomic length HBV sequencing was performed in highly-active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART)-naïve HIV-HBV co-infected patients (n=74) and in anti-HBV therapy-naïve HBV mono-infected patients (n=55). The frequency of HBV mutations differed between the co-infected and mono-infected patients when comparing patients with the same genotype. BCP mutations A1762T and G1764A were significantly more frequent in HBV genotype C mono-infection and the -1G frameshift was significantly more frequent in co-infection and was only observed in HBV genotype A co-infection. PreS2 deletions were observed more frequently in the setting of co-infection. Further work is needed to determine if these mutational patterns influence the differences in liver disease progression in HIV-HBV co-infected and HBV mono-infected patients.