Background: Occult HBV infection accelerates the progression of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and finally leading to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study analyzed the occult HBV-genotypes in HCC patients.
Methods: To achieve our objective, matched serum and tissue samples were collected from 40 HCC patients. Three sets of primers were used for the HBV-DNA detection by nested-PCR, which cover the HBV-genome; Core, Surface and X genes. Genotyping system based on PCR using type-specific primers was applied on HBV-DNA positive samples.
Results: Intrahepatic occult HBV-DNA was detected in 62.5%, whereas; Serum occult HBV-DNA were detected in only 22.5% of HCC patients. In patients' positive for both anti-HBs and anti-HBc, 10% had occult HBV in serum. In serologically negative HCV patients, 63% had intrahepatic HBV-DNA, and 21% had HBV-DNA in serum samples. HBV-genotype D (32%) and B (24%) attributed predominantly to intrahepatic HBV infections in HCC patients, whereas HBV-genotype A (4%) and C (8%) infections were the least observed.
Conclusion: This is the first study to show the genotypes of occult HBV infection in HCC Patients. We suggest that B or D may influence the outcome of HBV infection which may lead to the development of HCC.