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HBV genotypes and chronicification of acute hepatitis B: more questions than answers
  1. C-L Lin1,
  2. J-H Kao2
  1. 1
    Department of Gastroenterology, Ren-Ai Branch, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2
    Hepatitis Research Center and Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Pofessor J-H Kao, Hepatitis Research Center and Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 10002, Taiwan; kaojh{at}ntu.edu.tw

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We read with great interest the article by Zhang et al (Gut 2008;57:1713–20). Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global health problem and at least eight HBV genotypes (A–H) have been identified. Genotypes A and D are prevalent in Western countries, whereas genotypes B and C are common in Asian countries. The clinical significance of HBV genotype in terms of disease progression and response to antiviral treatments has been increasingly recognised; however, the association of HBV genotypes with the development of chronic infection in acute hepatitis B patients remains to be elucidated. In this timely community-based study from China, the authors indicated that HBV genotype C is more likely to cause chronic infection than genotype B. These findings …

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