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Functional Receptor, Hepatitis B Virus, Polymorphism, Sodium Taurocholate Co-transporting Polypeptide, Hepatic Fibrosis, Egypt

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Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SLC10A1 gene, coding for a functional receptor of hepatitis B virus (HBV), sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP), may influence the susceptibility, outcome, and disease course of HBV infection in some populations. Aim: to determine the prevalence of SNPs of the NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277, and their relationship with chronic HBV infection in a group of Egyptian patients. Methods: One hundred and thirty seven patients with HBV and 65 healthy controls were enrolled, and the patients were divided into two groups; group I chronic HBV infection (68 patients with normal ALT and minimal or no liver necroinflammation or fibrosis) and group II chronic hepatitis B (69 patients with elevated ALT and moderate or severe liver necroinflammation). They were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, laboratory investigations, abdominal ultrasound, and liver stiffness measurement using both Echosens® Fibroscan and acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI). A real time PCR TaqMan 5′ allelic discrimination assay was applied to detect the SNPs in the NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277. Results: On studying the rs2296651 variant, all controls and patients had genotype GG without any significant association with HBV infection or disease progression. However, the rs943277 variant in all controls and 98% of patients had genotype GA, except for two chronic HBV infection patients who had genotype AA, but no significant difference between patients and controls was found. The non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment ARFI, AST/platelet’s ratio (APRI), and fibrosis-4 score (FIB-4) could predict the stages of fibrosis in agreement with Fibroscan with AUCOR 0.8, 0.79, and 0.76, respectively. Conclusion: These findings may suggest that there is no relation between these SNPs of the NTCP gene and the susceptibility or chronicity of HBV infection in the Egyptian population. We also suggest that the use of the non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment, ARFI, FIB-4, and APRI, may decrease the need for liver biopsies in the prediction of significant hepatic fibrosis in chronic HBV patients.

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Gastroenterology Insights, v. 12, issue 4, p. 384-393