Published online Apr 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i13.3531
Peer-review started: October 30, 2015
First decision: November 27, 2015
Revised: December 13, 2015
Accepted: December 30, 2015
Article in press: December 30, 2015
Published online: April 7, 2016
Core tip: With error-prone reverse transcription during replication, hepatitis B virus (HBV) displays a high rate of mutation, and a single mutation may affect the biological properties of HBV. Occult HBV infection (OBI) is a special form of HBV infection and a frequent phenomenon. Many previous publications have explored the association of OBI with the “hot spots” mutations that occur within the immunodominant “α” determinant of S proteins. However, there are no reviews available that elaborate on the relationship between OBI and mutations throughout the entire HBV genome. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive summary of HBV genetic variants that have been associated with OBI.