The amino acid substitution at position 181 of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) polymerase is a multi-drug resistance affecting both the L-nucleoside and acyclic phosphonate nucleotide groups. Data is limited on the efficacy of entecavir (ETV) rescuing chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients with rtA181T/V mutation.
Thirty-one patients with rtA181T/V mutation and 25 patients with rtA181T/V and rtN236T mutation were enrolled. Virological, serological and biochemical outcomes of ETV rescue therapy over 12 months in CHB patients with rtA181T/V mutation strains were investigated. All patients were treated with ETV 0.5 mg/day for 12 months and scheduled follow-up every 3 months. Patients’ characteristics, laboratory tests results and clinical outcomes were collected and compared.
After emergence of rtA181T/V mutant, serum HBV DNA levels increased over 4 log10 IU/mL, but the total bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels raised moderately. No significant difference in baseline characteristics was observed between the rtA181T/V group and rtA181T/V + rtN236T group. After 12 months rescue therapy, total 85.7% (48/56) patients achieved HBV DNA undetectable. No significant difference in the mean reduction of serum HBV DNA and biochemical response was observed between both groups (3.59 ± 1.85 vs. 3.76 ± 2.15 log10 IU/ml; P = 0.756 and 90.3 vs. 80.0%; P = 0.272, respectively). The mean HBV DNA reduction, HBsAg and ALT levels were also similar between different rtA181T/sW172 mutations (P > 0.05). HBV DNA level is the only predictor of 12 months antiviral outcomes (odds ratio 6.723, P = 0.022).
The results of the present study suggested that ETV is efficient in rescuing rtA181T/V mutation CHB patients. HBV DNA level could predict viral clearance at the 12th month.
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- Antiviral efficacy of entecavir for hepatitis B virus rtA181V/T mutants
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