Lamivudine resistance in immunocompetent chronic hepatitis B. Incidence and patterns

J Hepatol. 1997 Jun;26(6):1393-5. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(97)80476-x.


Background: Lamivudine is a non-toxic, potent inhibitor of hepatitis B virus replication. Recently, hepatitis B virus resistance to lamivudine has been described in patients using immunosuppressive drugs after liver transplantation.

Methods: From our cohort of 81 consecutive patients treated with lamivudine, we selected all immunocompetent patients who received lamivudine monotherapy for a period over 26 weeks (n=14).

Results: Lamivudine resistance with the characteristic mutation in the YMDD motif was observed in four patients (actuarial cumulative incidence: 39%). Two patterns of viral resistance were observed: incomplete response (n=2) and viral breakthrough (n=2).

Conclusions: The observed high frequency of lamivudine resistance may have implications for the concept of long-term virus-suppressive therapy of chronic hepatitis B by lamivudine monotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • DNA Primers
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Genome, Viral
  • Hepatitis B / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B / virology
  • Hepatitis B virus / drug effects
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence*
  • Lamivudine / pharmacology
  • Lamivudine / therapeutic use*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • DNA Primers
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Lamivudine