Introduction: Manifestations of HBV infection differ in chronic and acute phases. Therefore, identifying the determinants such as mutations has a vital role in the treatment of the disease. A dual transversion in the basal core promoter (BCP) region is common among HBV patients. Thus, the present study was conducted with the objective of determining the prevalence of basal core promoter (BCP) mutations and its correlation with the outcome of HBV infection. 

Method: In this cross-sectional study, samples were obtained from 182 Iranian HBsAg positive patients who were admitted to the Bandar Abbas Blood Transfusion Organization in 2012 and 2013. They were screened by ELISA test using commercial kits to detect serological marker anti-HBc IgM for distinct chronic hepatitis from acute infection. Thereafter, the extracted DNA was used for determination of the BCP mutations by PCR-RFLP technique. Data analyses were performed with SPSS 12 by Mann–Whitney U test, Fisher’s exact probability test, and t-test. 

Results: BCP mutations were observed in 15 samples (8.24%) of the study population, and serological tests determined that, among the BCP mutants, one sample (6.67%) was HBeAg positive, 14 samples (93.33%) were HBeAg negative, and four samples (2.2%) were positive for anti-HBc IgM test. Data analysis indicated a statistically significant association between BCP mutations and acute hepatitis (p=0.002). However, no relationship was detected between the prevalences of the BCP mutations and gender of subjects (p>0.567). 

Conclusions: The prevalence of BCP variants was low in the south of Iran, and this mutation can lead to acute phase of viral hepatitis.


Keywords: Acute hepatitis B, Chronic hepatitis B, Basal core promoter, Epidemiology
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