Detection of precore/core-mutant hepatitis B virus genome in patients with acute or fulminant hepatitis without serological markers for recent HBV infection

J Hepatol. 1993 Jul;18(3):369-72. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(05)80283-1.


To confirm the possibility that some hepatitis B virus (HBV) variants do not induce HB s antigen (HBsAg), anti-HB core antibody (anti-HBc) and anti-HBc IgM in a transient infection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed in 20 patients with acute hepatitis and 7 patients with fulminant hepatitis. Patients were diagnosed with non-A, non-B hepatitis by serological markers at admission. PCR successfully amplified the precore/core gene in 5 (25%) of the patients with acute hepatitis and 2 (29%) of the patients with fulminant hepatitis. Subsequent sequencing revealed frequent mutations including precore-defects in the precore/core gene.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / analysis
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / immunology
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Viral Core Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Core Proteins / immunology


  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Viral Core Proteins