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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 45-54

Hepatitis B Viral Mutants and Their Relevance to the Canadian Health Care System

Gerald Y Minuk

Liver Diseases Unit, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Received 10 October 2000; Accepted 15 January 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the past 10 years, an increasing number of mutations in the hepatitis B virus genome have been described. While the majority of these mutations appear to be ‘silent’ or not clinically relevant, some have been described in association with increased severity of disease (core and basic core promoter mutations), evasion of immunological surveillance (S escape mutants), hepatocellular carcinogenesis (X mutants) and resistance to antiviral agents (DNA polymerase mutations). The molecular events and the clinical consequences thereof are reviewed.