Evidence of susceptibility to lamivudine-based HAART and genetic stability of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in HIV co-infected patients: A South African longitudinal HBV whole genome study

Edina Amponsah-Dacosta, J. Nare Rakgole, Maemu P. Gededzha, Azwidowi Lukhwareni, Jason T. Blackard, Selokela G. Selabe, M. Jeffrey Mphahlele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Reports on the concomitant impact of HIV co-infection and long term highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) on the genetic stability and molecular evolution of HBV are limited in sub-Saharan Africa. Materials and methods: This retrospective study investigated the molecular evolution of chronic HBV in HIV co-infected patients on lamivudine (3TC)-based HAART over a 5 year period. Four HIV co-infected patients, consecutively recruited and followed-up, were screened for hepatitis B serological markers, and their viral loads determined. The HBV genome was amplified from longitudinal samples and characterized by Bayesian inference, mutational analysis, and identification of immune selection pressure. Results: All patients exhibited persistent chronic HBV infection at baseline, as well as over the course of follow-up despite exposure to 3TC-based HAART. The polymerase gene in all isolates was relatively variable prior to HAART initiation at baseline and during the course of follow-up, although primary drug resistance mutations were not detected. All but one patient were infected with HBV subgenotype A1. The divergence rates between baseline and the last follow-up sequences ranged from 0 to 2.0 × 10-3 substitutions per site per year (s/s/y). Positive selection pressure was evident within the surface and core genes. Conclusion: Despite persistent HBV infection in the HIV co-infected patients exposed to long term 3TC-based HAART, the molecular evolution of HBV over a 5 year period was unremarkable. In addition, HBV exhibited minimal genetic variability overtime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • 3TC-based HAART
  • Genetic variability
  • HBV
  • HIV
  • Molecular evolution
  • Whole genome

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