With great interest, we read the manuscript “Relationship between serum HBV RNA levels and intrahepatic viral as well as histologic activity markers in entecavir-treated patients” by Wang et al. published in Journal of Hepatology.
The authors revealed that serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA levels reflected intrahepatic transcriptional activity of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and were associated with liver histopathology in patients receiving entecavir (ETV) therapy. Moreover, quasispecies analysis found that serum HBV RNA resembled intrahepatic viral RNA but not cccDNA, implying that the nascent variants of HBV RNA detected in liver biopsy samples were not present in cccDNA under nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) treatment. In addition, the authors proposed that the viral forms in the reservoir of HBV RNA virion-like particles might be composed of viral transcriptional products from static (persistent present) active cccDNA and newly produced viral progeny from de novo infections. Since serum HBV DNA was undetectable in these ETV-treated patients, we postulated that the presence of HBV RNA virion-like particles might contribute to the de novo infections. Based on the fact that the cells transfected with pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) of a DNA virus can produce complete infectious viruses,
- Wang J.
- Yu Y.
- Li G.
- Shen C.
- Meng Z.
- Zheng J.
- et al.
Relationship between serum HBV-RNA levels and intrahepatic viral as well as histologic activity markers in entecavir-treated patients.
J Hepatol. 2018; 68: 16-24
the infection potential of HBV RNA virion-like particles containing HBV pgRNA has been previously proposed.
- Huang M.J.
- Summers J.
Infection initiated by the RNA pregenome of a DNA virus.
J Virol. 1991; 65: 5425-5439
- Jansen L.
- Kootstra N.A.
- van Dort K.A.
- Takkenberg R.B.
- Reesink H.W.
- Zaaijer H.L.
Hepatitis B virus pregenomic RNA is present in virions in plasma and is associated with a response to pegylated interferon alfa-2a and nucleos(t)ide analogues.
J Infect Dis. 2016; 213: 224-232
- Wang J.
- Shen T.
- Huang X.
- Kumar G.R.
- Chen X.
- Zeng Z.
- et al.
Serum hepatitis B virus is encapsidated pregenome RNA that may be associated with persistence of viral infection and rebound.
J Hepatol. 2016; 65: 700-710
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Author names in bold designate shared co-first authorship
- Relationship between serum HBV-RNA levels and intrahepatic viral as well as histologic activity markers in entecavir-treated patients.J Hepatol. 2018; 68: 16-24
- Infection initiated by the RNA pregenome of a DNA virus.J Virol. 1991; 65: 5425-5439
- Hepatitis B virus pregenomic RNA is present in virions in plasma and is associated with a response to pegylated interferon alfa-2a and nucleos(t)ide analogues.J Infect Dis. 2016; 213: 224-232
- Serum hepatitis B virus is encapsidated pregenome RNA that may be associated with persistence of viral infection and rebound.J Hepatol. 2016; 65: 700-710
- Hepatitis B virus capsid assembly modulators, but not nucleoside analogs, inhibit the production of extracellular pregenomic RNA and spliced RNA variants.Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017; 61: e00680
- Tenofovir to prevent hepatitis B transmission in mothers with high viral load.N Engl J Med. 2016; 374: 2324-2334
- Telbivudine or lamivudine use in late pregnancy safely reduces perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus in real-life practice.Hepatology. 2014; 60: 468-476
- EASL 2017 clinical practice guidelines on the management of hepatitis B virus infection.J Hepatol. 2017; 67: 370-398
- Asian-Pacific clinical practice guidelines on the management of hepatitis B: a 2015 update.Hepatol Int. 2016; 10: 1-98
- Chronic HBV infection among pregnant women and their infants in Shenyang, China.Virol J. 2013; 10: 17
Published online: November 04, 2017
© 2017 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.