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Original article

De novo activation of HBV with escape mutations from hepatitis B surface antibody after living donor liver transplantation

Yoshihide Ueda, Hiroyuki Marusawa, Hiroto Egawa, Shinya Okamoto, Yasuhiro Ogura, Fumitaka Oike, Norihiro Nishijima, Yasutsugu Takada, Shinji Uemoto, Tsutomu Chiba

Corresponding author name: Yoshihide Ueda
Corresponding author e-mail: yueda@kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2011; 16:479-487
doi: 10.3851/IMP1771

Date accepted: 12 October 2010
Date published online: 12 April 2011

Abstract

Background: De novo activation of HBV occurs after liver transplantation from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc)-positive donors, even under hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) prophylaxis. One reason for the activation of HBV is the emergence of HBV with escape mutations from hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs). The aim of this study is to clarify the clinical features for de novo activation of HBV with anti-HBs escape mutations after liver transplantation.

Methods: Clinical features of 75 patients who received HBIG prophylaxis >6 months after liver transplantation with liver grafts from anti-HBc-positive donors were retrospectively analysed.

Results: Among the 75 recipients, 19 (25%) developed de novo activation of HBV. Of the 19 recipients, the emergence of HBV with anti-HBs escape mutations was confirmed in 7 patients. The rate of de novo activation of HBV with anti-HBs escape mutations was 12% at 5 years. Sequence analysis revealed mutations in the common ‘a’ determinant region of the surface gene, including G145R, G145A and Q129P, in HBsAg. Administration of entecavir immediately after the occurrence of de novo HBV activation resolved hepatitis and induced clearance of serum HBsAg and HBV DNA in all four patients receiving entecavir.

Conclusions: Escape mutations from anti-HBs caused de novo activation of HBV under HBIG prophylaxis after liver transplantation. Early administration of entecavir was effective on de novo activation of HBV with anti-HBs escape mutations.

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