Published online Aug 14, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i30.3347
Peer-review started: April 10, 2018
First decision: May 16, 2018
Revised: May 29, 2018
Accepted: June 25, 2018
Article in press: June 25, 2018
Published online: August 14, 2018
Core tip: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have proven to be very useful in uncovering the host genetic factors that influence the clinical outcomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Both class I and class II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes were implicated in persistence of HBV infection; associated variants affected antigen-binding specificities and expression levels of HLA molecules. HBV persistence and vaccine nonresponse were associated with the same HLA-DP allotypes, suggesting a critical role for the surface antigen in HBV pathogenesis. These findings might be exploited for development of potent vaccines based on alternative epitopes. GWAS for HBV-related pathologies identified many other immune-related genes, and provided genetic markers to detect the individuals at high risk for HBV-related diseases.