[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HBV immune escape represents a challenge to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hepatitis B. Here, we analyzed the molecular and clinical characteristics of HBV immune escape mutants in a Chinese cohort of chronically infected patients.
Two hundred sixteen patients with HBsAg and anti-HBs were studied, with one hundred eighty-two HBV carriers without anti-HBs as a control group. Recombinant HBsAg bearing the most frequent N-glycosylation mutations were expressed in CHO and Huh7 cells. After confirming N-glycosylation at the most frequent sites (129 and 131), together with inserted mutations, functional analysis were performed to study antigenicity and secretion capacity.
One hundred twenty-three patients had the wild-type HBs gene sequence, 93 patients (43%) had mutants in the major hydrophilic region (MHR), and 47 of the 93 patients had additional N-glycosylation mutations, which were transmitted horizontally to at least 2 patients, one of whom was efficiently vaccinated. The frequency of N-glycosylation mutation in the case group was much higher than that of the control group (47/216 Vs 1/182).Compared with wild-type HBsAg, HBsAg mutants reacted weakly with Anti-HBs using a chemiluminescent microparticle enzyme immunoassay. Native gel analysis of secreted virion in supernatants of transfected Huh7 cells indicated that mutants had better virion enveloping and secretion capacity than wild-type HBV.
Our results suggest that specific HBsAg MHR N-glycosylation mutations are implicated in HBV immune escape in a high endemic area.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleos(t)ides analogs (NA) exert selective pressures on polymerase (pol) and surface (S) genes, inducing treatment resistance and increasing the risk of vaccine escape mutants. The rate of emergence for these mutations is largely unknown in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HBV undergoing dual-active therapy. In a 3-year, repeat-sampling, prospective cohort study, HBV viral genome sequences of 171 HIV-HBV coinfected patients, presenting with HBV viremia for at least one visit, were analyzed every 12 months via DNA chip. Logistic and Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine risk factors specifically for S gene mutations at baseline and during follow-up, respectively. HBV-DNA levels >190 IU/mL substantially decreased from 91.8% at inclusion to 40.3% at month 36 (P < 0.001), while lamivudine (LAM) or emtricitabine (FTC) use remained steady (71.9%) and tenofovir (TDF) use expanded (month 0, 17.5%; month 36, 66.7%; P < 0.001). The largest increase of any mutation class was observed in l-nucleoside-associated pol gene/antiviral-associated S gene mutations (cumulative incidence at the end of follow-up, 17.5%) followed by alkyl phosphonate-associated pol-gene (7.4%), immune-associated S gene (specifically any amino acid change at positions s120/s145, 6.4%), and d-cyclopentane-associated pol-gene mutations (2.4%). Incidence of l-nucleoside-associated pol-gene/antiviral-associated S gene mutations was significantly associated with concomitant LAM therapy (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 4.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-15.56), but inversely associated with TDF use (adjusted HR/month, 0.94; 95% CI,0.89-0.98). Cumulative duration of TDF was significantly associated with a reduction in the occurrence of immune-associated S gene mutations (HR/month, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.79-0.98). No major liver-related complications (e.g., fulminant hepatitis, decompensated liver, and hepatocellular carcinoma) were observed in patients with incident mutations.
Vaccine escape mutants selected by NA exposure were frequent and steadily increasing during follow-up. Although the high antiviral potency of TDF can mitigate incident mutations, other antiviral options are limited in this respect. The public health implications of their transmission need to be addressed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background & aims:
Adefovir (ADV) resistance mutations induce low-level cross-resistance to tenofovir in vitro. Our aim was to compare viral kinetics, nucleos(t)ide analog resistance mutations, and quasispecies (QS) evolution during therapy with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) or emtricitabine + TDF (FTC/TDF) in selected patients with incomplete ADV responses.
Patients with chronic hepatitis B and incomplete response to ADV were randomized in a double-blind trial of TDF vs. FTC/TDF. Extensive analysis of QS evolution was performed in 17 patients through 48 weeks of treatment.
At week 24, 48% of patients (9/17) achieved HBV DNA undetectability (<69 IU/ml) with no difference between treatment groups. ADV and/or LAM resistance mutations were detected in all 17 patients at baseline and in 5/6 analyzable patients at week 48. A total of 1224 reverse transcriptase clones were analyzed. Clonal analysis revealed no significant difference at baseline in QS complexity or diversity between treatment groups. There was a trend in both treatment groups for an increase in QS complexity at week 12, followed by a decrease in complexity and diversity by week 48. Analysis of individual patients showed no consistent selection/accumulation of specific viral resistance patterns during treatment, but at week 48, mutations at rtA181 persisted in 4 patients.
TDF or FTC/TDF demonstrated strong viral suppression in patients with an incomplete response to ADV and no significant selective pressure on pre-existing ADV or LAM resistant strains. TDF monotherapy and FTC/TDF combination therapy had a comparable impact on QS evolution.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the mechanisms of emergence and selection of HBV polymerase variants, which may also harbor mutations in the overlapping envelope protein, we analyzed the in vitro virus production and infectivity of the main viral mutants resistant to lamivudine and adefovir.
HBV-resistant mutants (rtL180M+M204V, rtV173L+L180M+M204V, rtM204I, rtL180M+M204I, rtN236T, rtA181V, rtA181V+rtN236T, rtA181T+N236T, and rtA181T) were produced in HepG2 cells permanently expressing the respective viral genomes. Viral protein expression, secretion, and viral particle production were studied by ELISA, Western blot, and transmission electron microscopy. To study only the effect of surface gene mutants on virus infectivity, HepaRG cells were inoculated with HDV pseudo-particles coated with the mutant HBV envelopes. To evaluate infectivity and replication in a global fashion, HepaRG cells were inoculated with HBV mutants.
HBeAg was expressed and secreted in cell supernatants in all mutant-expressing cell lines. As expected, mutants harboring a sW196Stop mutation in the surface gene did not express small envelope proteins. All mutants expressing HBsAg were able to produce viral particles. HDV particles coated with mutant envelopes were less infectious than WT in HepaRG cells. Finally, we found that resistant mutants exhibit lower infectivity and replication ability than WT virus.
Based on this study, we found that envelope substitutions modulate viral protein expression, HDV coating, and viral infectivity. These envelope modifications provide novel insights into the features of emerging HBV variants during antiviral therapies and suggest that such mutants are less prone to transmission than their WT counterpart.
No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term treatment of chronic hepatitis B with nucleos(t)ide analogs can lead to the emergence of HBV resistant mutants of the polymerase gene. The development of drugs with a different mode of action is warranted to prevent antiviral drug resistance. Only a few non-nucleosidic molecules belonging to the family of phenylpropenamides (AT-61 & AT-130) and heteroaryldihydropyrimidines (BAY41-4109) can prevent RNA encapsidation or destabilize nucleocapsids, respectively. The sensitivity of the main nucleos(t)ide analog- resistant mutants to these inhibitors was evaluated in vitro. HepG2 stable cell lines permanently expressing wild type (WT) HBV or the main HBV mutants resistant to lamivudine and/or adefovir (rtL180M+rtM204V, rtV173L+rtL180M+rtM204V, rtM204I, rtL180M+rtM204I, rtN236T, rtA181V, rtA181V+rtN236T, rtA181T, rtA181T+rtN236T) were treated with AT-61, AT-130 or BAY-41 4109. Analysis of intracellular encapsidated viral DNA showed that all mutants were almost as sensitive to these molecules as WT HBV; indeed, the fold-resistance ranged between 0.7 and 2.3. Furthermore, the effect of a combination of either AT-61 or AT-130 with BAY41-4109, and the combination of these compounds with tenofovir was studied on wild type HBV as well as on a lamivudine and an adefovir-resistant mutant (rtL180M+M204V and rtN236T, respectively). These combinations of compounds resulted in inhibition of viral replication but showed slight antagonistic effects on the three HBV species. Based on this in vitro study, BAY-41 4109, AT-61 and AT-130 molecules that interfere with capsid morphogenesis are active against the main lamivudine- and adefovir-resistant mutants. These results suggest that targeting nucleocapsid functions may represent an interesting approach to the development of novel HBV inhibitors to prevent and combat drug resistance.
No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Antiviral research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allogeneic hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) increases the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriers but the incidence, risk factors and course of HBV reactivation after HSCT in HBsAg-negative/anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc)-positive recipients are not well known. A total of 50 HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc-positive HSCT recipients with onco-hematological diseases, underwent sequential clinical and laboratory examinations, including serum HBsAg, during follow-up. Serum HBV DNA collected at HSCT was retrospectively amplified by a sensitive PCR assay. During 17 months of follow-up, six (12%) patients had seroreverted to HBsAg, 7-32 months after HSCT, with 1- and 5-year cumulative rates of 13 and 22%. HBsAg seroreversion was associated with serum HBeAg higher than 8 log₁₀ copies per ml HBV DNA and a 1.5 to 36 fold increase of serum alanine aminotransferase leading to HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B in all patients. Patients with chronic onco-hematological disease and long-lasting immunosuppression following HSCT had a higher risk of HBsAg seroreversion independently of serum HBV DNA levels at HSCT. HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc-positive HSCT recipients with chronic onco-hematological disease carry a significant risk of HBsAg seroreversion and HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B, independently of serum levels of HBV DNA at transplantation.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Bone marrow transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) antiviral drug resistance mutations prevent successful outcome of treatment and lead to worsening of liver disease. Detection of its emergence permits opportune treatment with alternative drugs. Unfortunately, the use of newly approved antivirals, including adefovir dipivoxil, emtricitabine, and telbivudine, is also associated with the development of drug resistance, albeit to a lesser extent than the use of lamivudine. The objectives of this work were to assess the performance characteristics (sensitivity and accuracy) of an updated drug resistance test, the INNO-LiPA HBV DR v2, which includes detection of mutations associated with lamivudine, adefovir, emtricitabine, and telbivudine resistance, and to compare the results with consensus sequencing of serum samples from patients treated with HBV antivirals. Diagnostic sensitivity, defined as detection of a positive amplification line on the line probe assay (LiPA) strip, was 94.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89.7 to 97.9) after initial testing, increasing to 96.3% (95% CI, 91.6 to 98.8) after repeat test 1 and to 100% (95% CI, 97.3 to 100.0) after repeat test 2. In diagnostic accuracy determinations, full concordance was observed between sequencing and LiPA for 77.0% of the codons tested (620/805 codons [95% CI, 74.0 to 79.9]), whereas LiPA and sequencing were partially concordant 22% of the time (177/805 codons). In 167 out of 177 cases, LiPA detected a wild-type/mutant mixture whereas sequencing detected only one of the two results. Performance testing of the new LiPA test, the INNO-LiPA HBV DR v2, showed convincing diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy. The ability of the test to detect mixed infections and minority viral populations associated with resistance to the current generation of antivirals, including adefovir, emtricitabine, and telbivudine, makes it a useful tool for HBV therapy monitoring.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because of the overlapping of polymerase and envelope genes in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome, nucleoside analog therapy can lead to the emergence of complex HBV variants that harbor mutations in both the reverse transcriptase and the envelope proteins. To understand the selection process of HBV variants during antiviral therapy, we analyzed the in vitro fitness (the ability to produce infectious progeny) of 4 mutant viral genomes isolated from one patient who developed resistance to a triple therapy (lamivudine, adefovir, and anti-HBV immunoglobulins).
The 4 mutant and the wild-type forms of HBV were expressed from vectors in hepatoma cell lines; replication and viral particle secretion capacities then were analyzed. The impact of envelope gene mutations on infectivity was tested in HepaRG cells using the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) model as a reporter for infection.
The dominant HBV variant characterized from the therapy-resistant patient was found to have the best replicative capacity in vitro in the presence of high concentrations of lamivudine and adefovir. The expression of envelope proteins and secretion of subviral and Dane particles by this mutant was comparable with that of wild-type HBV. HDV particles enveloped by surface proteins from the selected mutant had the highest rates of infection in HepaRG cells compared with other mutants.
These results illustrate the importance of viral fitness and infectivity as a major determinant of antiviral therapy resistance in patients. Understanding HBV mutant selection in vivo will help to optimize new anti-HBV therapeutic strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent clinical observations reported the occurrence of amino acid substitutions at position 181 of the HBV polymerase, associated with a viral breakthrough under lamivudine or adefovir therapy. In this study, we characterized the main variants harboring the rtA181T/V mutation isolated from 10 consecutive patients who developed lamivudine and/or adefovir resistance.
We performed a clonal analysis of the HBV polymerase gene amplified by PCR from serum samples during viral breakthrough. The main mutants were then tested after transfection of Huh7 cells for their resistance profile to nucleoside analogs.
Clonal analysis revealed the co-localization on the same HBV genome of rtA181T/V with rtN236T, but not with rtM204V/I mutations following lamivudine, adefovir or lamivudine+adefovir breakthrough. In cell culture, the rtA181T/V mutation induced a decreased susceptibility to lamivudine (<10-fold), adefovir (2- to 8-fold) and tenofovir (2- to 3-fold). Interestingly, the association of rtA181T with rtN236T on one clinical isolate genome increased the resistance to these three drugs. All the tested mutants remained sensitive to entecavir.
Our observations suggest that a single amino acid change at position rt181 may induce cross-resistance to lamivudine and adefovir. These data emphasize the clinical relevance of genotypic and phenotypic analysis in the management of antiviral drug resistance.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) has demonstrated activity against wild-type and lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV). After 1 year of therapy, a median 3.5-4.0 log10 decrease in viral load is observed. Our aim was to characterize the different profiles of response to ADV in relation to the in vitro susceptibility of viral strains to ADV.
In an international Phase III randomized, placebo-controlled study of ADV in patients positive for hepatitis B virus e antigen (HBeAg), different profiles of virological response to ADV 10 mg/day were identified at week 48. The top 25% patients (quartile 1, Q1) showed > 4.91 log10 reduction in serum HBV DNA at week 48, in Q2 patients demonstrated a 3.52 to 4.90 log10 reduction of viral load, whereas in Q3 a 2.22 to 3.51 log10 reduction in viral load was observed. The bottom 25% of patients (Q4) showed < 2.22 log10 reduction in HBV DNA levels. The influence of baseline characteristics and drug compliance on response was investigated. The replication capacity and drug susceptibility of HBV genomes of selected clinical isolates that were considered representative of the treatment response quartiles were analysed using a phenotypic assay.
The lowest quartile of response (Q4) appears to have worse compliance. Higher alanine aminotransferase levels at baseline are associated with improved response. Phenotypic analysis of viral strains in vitro in Huh7 and HepG2 cells showed that HBV genomes remained susceptible to ADV, regardless of treatment response observed in patients.
Suboptimal response to ADV might result from a host pharmacological effect or from patient compliance issues rather than from a reduced susceptibility of HBV to ADV.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Antiviral therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensitive and accurate quantification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA is necessary for monitoring patients with chronic hepatitis
receiving antiviral therapy in order to determine treatment response and to adapt therapy in case of inadequate virologic
control. The development of quantitative PCR assays has been crucial in meeting these needs. The objective of this study was
to compare the performance of a new real-time PCR assay (Abbott RealTime) for HBV DNA with that of three other commercial
assays for the detection of HBV DNA. These were the Versant 3.0 branched-chain DNA assay, the Cobas Amplicor HBV Monitor test,
and the Cobas AmpliPrep-Cobas TaqMan hepatitis B virus assay (CAP-CTM). HBV DNA was measured in blood samples taken from two
cohorts of patients with chronic hepatitis. HBV DNA levels measured with the Abbott RealTime assay were highly correlated
with those measured with the other three tests over their respective dynamic ranges (r, 0.88 to 0.96). The sensitivity (detection limit, 10 IU/ml) and dynamic range of the Abbott RealTime assay (101 to 109 IU/ml) was superior to that of the Versant assay. The RealTime assay recognized both HBV strains belonging to genotypes A
to G and those bearing polymerase gene mutations equivalently. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the utility of the Abbott
RealTime assay for monitoring HBV DNA levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Its sensitivity and wide dynamic range
should allow optimal monitoring of antiviral therapy and timely treatment adaptation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Journal of Clinical Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frequent coinfection of hepatitis B virus genotype G with genotype A suggests that genotype G may require genotype A for replication or transmission. In this regard, genotype G is unique in having a 12-amino-acid extension in the core protein due to a 36-nucleotide insertion near the core gene translation initiation codon. The insertion alters base pairing in the lower stem of the pregenome encapsidation signal, which harbors the core gene initiator, and thus has the potential to affect both core protein translation and pregenomic RNA encapsidation. Genotype G is also unusual for possessing two nonsense mutations in the precore region, which together with the core gene encode a secreted nonstructural protein called hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg). We found that genotype G clones were indeed incapable of HBeAg expression but were competent in RNA transcription, genome replication, and virion secretion. Interestingly, the 36-nucleotide insertion markedly increased the level of core protein, which was achieved at the level of protein translation but did not involve alteration in the mRNA level. Consequently, the variant core protein was readily detectable in patient blood. The 12-amino-acid insertion also enhanced the genome maturity of secreted virus particles, possibly through less efficient envelopment of core particles. Cotransfection of genotypes G and A did not lead to mutual interference of genome replication or virion secretion. Considering that HBeAg is an immunotolerogen required for the establishment of persistent infection, its lack of expression rather than a replication defect could be the primary determinant for the rare occurrence of genotype G monoinfection.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complex mutants may be selected under sequential anti-VHB pressures. We analyzed the genotypic and phenotypic evolution of the viral quasi-species of a patient who developed resistance to entecavir following lamivudine breakthrough.
The polymerase gene was amplified, cloned and sequenced at different time points. Hepatoma cell lines were transfected to compare the replication capacity of HBV mutants and their drug susceptibility.
A mixture of lamivudine-resistant HBV strains coexisted following viral breakthrough to lamivudine, all harboring the rtM204V mutation. The rtV173L+L180M+M204V dominant mutant displayed strong lamivudine-resistance and the highest replication capacity. Following the switch to entecavir, the viral load dropped but the lamivudine-resistant strains continued to be selected. Three years later, the viral load rose again, and a complex mixture of entecavir-resistant strains, all harboring the lamivudine-resistance signature rtL180M+M204V and the rtS202G mutation were observed. Although the rtL180M+S202G+M204V variant, that prevailed at the end of entecavir therapy, did not show the highest viral genome replication capacity, it conferred one of the strongest resistance levels to entecavir.
We report the selection of complex HBV mutants that escaped lamivudine and entecavir antiviral pressures. Genotypic and phenotypic analysis provided additional information to understand the process of HBV variant selection.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2007 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequential anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapy may lead to the selection of complex mutants. We analyzed the genetic and phenotypic evolution of the viral quasispecies of a patient who received successively lamivudine, add-on adefovir+lamivudine, followed by lamivudine+adefovir+hepatitis B immunoglobulins (HBIg) after orthotopic liver transplantation.
For genotypic analysis, a 1310-bp region of the polymerase gene was amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Huh-7 cells were transfected to compare the replication fitness of HBV mutants and their susceptibility to drugs.
At baseline, all HBV genomes carried a wild-type (wt) RT gene but 22% harbored the sP120S and 55% the sC107stop mutations within the surface (S) gene associated with vaccine escape. Following viral breakthrough to lamivudine monotherapy, a complex mixture of lamivudine-resistant HBV strains prevailed. Interestingly, among these mutants emerged a population harboring only the rtL180M+A181V mutations, conferring lamivudine-resistance in vitro. After addition of adefovir to the ongoing treatment, viral load dropped, and the patient underwent an orthotopic liver transplantation and received HBIg. As viral load rose again, a single viral population was progressively selected, harboring the rtV173L+L180M+A181V+N236T and sP120S mutations. In vitro, this last mutant showed a level of replication reduced by only 30% compared to wt HBV and a strong resistance to both lamivudine (>1000-fold) and adefovir (>10-fold). It remained sensitive to tenofovir both in vitro and in vivo.
We report the selection of a complex HBV mutant that escaped the antiviral pressure of lamivudine, adefovir, and HBIg, and provide insight on the process of selection via genotypic and phenotypic analysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymorphisms along the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome have an impact on disease outcome, sensitivity to antiviral treatment, escape from vaccination, and laboratory diagnosis. We have designed a diagnostic tool based on duplex amplification of the whole HBV genome and a high-density DNA chip designed to detect 245 mutations, 20 deletions, and 2 insertions at 151 positions and to determine the genotype of the virus in serum. Assay performances were evaluated with 170 samples, characterized by determination of viral load and sequencing of the Pol, S, and precore genes and the basal core promoter. One hundred fifty-three samples (90%) could be amplified and analyzed by the chip. Only two samples with more than 10(3) genome copies/ml could not be analyzed. Genotype had no impact on analytical sensitivity. Reproducibility studies showed no difference between repeats for codon and genotype determination. Genotype determination by sequencing and the chip were concordant in 148 of 151 samples. Twelve thousand one hundred sixty-one codons were analyzed by both techniques. Only 89.4% could be determined by sequencing, and among the remaining 11,335 codons, 92.8% were identical by sequencing and the chip. Failures to identify an amino acid by the chip were mainly due to reduced hybridization efficiency attributed to unexpected polymorphisms. Optimization of the chip-based reagent for the analysis of the HBV genome is ongoing. This first evaluation showed that DNA chip technology can provide important information in relation to the clinical management of chronic hepatitis B.