Anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapy leads to the emergence of mutant viral strains during the treatment of chronic hepatitis B with nucleos(t)ides analogues. The existence of HBV variants with primary antiviral resistance may be important for treatment choice. We studied two patients with chronic HBV infection by sequencing the HBV polymerase gene. They had adefovir- and tenofovir-related mutations in the viral polymerase, although they had never been treated. These mutations were rtV214A/rtN238T in one patient and rtA194T in the other. Thus, mutations in untreated patients deserve cautious surveillance. These data indicate that mutations that can theoretically confer adefovir or tenofovir resistance may emerge in treatment-naive patients.
Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, Viral polymerase mutations, Treatment-naive patients