Hepatitis B virus genotype C prevails among chronic carriers of the virus in Korea

J Korean Med Sci. 2005 Oct;20(5):816-20. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2005.20.5.816.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the major causative agents of chronic liver diseases in Korea. HBV has been classified into 8 genotypes by a divergence of >8% in the entire genomic sequence, and have distinct geographic distributions. There are limited data on the relevance between HBV genotypes and clinical outcomes in Korea. To investigate the clinical feature relating to HBV genotype in Korea, a total 120 serum samples with HBsAg (65 from Seoul and 55 from the other city in Korea) were obtained from each 30 chronic HBV carriers with asymptomatic carrier (ASC), chronic hepatitis (CH), liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HBV genotype was determined by either enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using monoclonal antibodies against genotype-specific epitopes in the preS2-region or the direct sequencing of small S gene. HBV genotypes were determined in 105 (87.5%) of 120 samples. HBV genotype C was identified in all HBV carriers with ASC, CH, LC, and HCC. Genotypes A, B, D, E, F and G were not detected in any of them. Genotype C HBV prevails predominantly among chronic carriers of the virus in Korea, irrespective of their clinical stages of liver disease and geographic origin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / virology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Liver Diseases / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors