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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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