Significance and relevance of serum preS1 antigen detection in wild-type and variant hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections
These studies assessed whether the serum expression of preS1 antigen could be a useful HBV marker for monitoring the progress of antiviral therapy in the treatment of chronic active hepatitis B (CAH-B) virus infections. Our findings indicate that: 1) the rearrangements we observed in the preS region of mutated HBV DNA molecules during chronic infection did not effect the preS1 sequence (21–47) critical for HBV infectivity; 2) the persistence or even the rebound of preS1 antigen expression during follow-up in responders to antiviral therapy may indicate virus persistence, suggesting the possibility of relapse through wild-type HBV or the emergence of HBV variants following the immunoelimination phase.
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