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Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jan 7, 2016; 22(1): 145-154
Published online Jan 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i1.145
Overview of hepatitis B virus mutations and their implications in the management of infection
Patrizia Caligiuri, Rita Cerruti, Giancarlo Icardi, Bianca Bruzzone
Patrizia Caligiuri, Giancarlo Icardi, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
Rita Cerruti, Giancarlo Icardi, Bianca Bruzzone, Hygiene Unit, I.R.C.C.S. A.O.U. San Martino-IST, 16132 Genoa, Italy
Author contributions: Caligiuri P, Cerruti R, Icardi G and Bruzzone B analyzed the literature and wrote this review.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no conflict of interest regarding this review.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Dr. Patrizia Caligiuri, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy.
Telephone: +39-10-5600591 Fax: +39-10-5600912
Received: May 29, 2015
Peer-review started: June 3, 2015
First decision: July 14, 2015
Revised: August 19, 2015
Accepted: December 1, 2015
Article in press: December 1, 2015
Published online: January 7, 2016
Core Tip

Core tip: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global health problem, with almost 2 billion infected persons, many of whom deemed to develop chronic carrier state and eventually die from cirrhosis or liver cancer. Unlike in other DNA viruses, its high mutation rate and replicative capability arise considerable genetic variability, recently analyzed by molecular biology tools. HBV mutations occur in all four overlapping open reading frames encoding viral polymerase, surface antigen, core and X protein. Understanding the correlation between mutations and liver disease progression is crucial for an effective clinical management in HBV patients with resistance to antiviral drugs, hepatitis B surface antigen escape mutant, “occult” hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.