The important achievements of Zhang Xinxin medical research team in Ruijin hospital on the transformation of hepatitis B

  Recently, the international famous academic journal “Journal of Hepatology” reported the latest research achievements of Zhang Xinxin ect, who are in the infection department of Ruijin hospital, that the glycosylation of the antigen which is on the surface of hepatitis B virus is the major cause of immune escape, the journal also specially published the comments from Italian famous scholar Professor Brunetto.

  After the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infect the body, the produce of antibody “anti-HBs” against the surface antigen (HBsAg) is generally considered to be the sign of the clearance of the virus, but the HBsAg/anti-HBs are also detected in the patients with HBV or the people who have been vaccinated against HBV, which has confused the clinicians and virologists for a long time. Previous studies showed that the mutation of the amino acid in the major hydrophilic region of HBsAg such as G145R is the main reason that make virus escape from the immune surveillance of the host, but the further impact of the mutation on viral biology has not been studied. Zhang Xinxin ect. apply the technology of virus mutation phenotype which has been established for a long time to the detection of clinical HBV immune escaped form and the study of biological function in vitro, they selected 216 patients who presented immune escape in 136000 patients who came to the Infection Department in recent years, the accomplishments not only verify the results of previous studies, but find that 22% patients presented the glycosylation of the virus antigen, such a high mutation rate is reported for the first time in the world, at the same time, the further study on viral fitness in vitro has found that the glycosylation of virus can affect its antigenicity and secretion, which means under the immune response of the host, the mutational virus have better adaptability. Meanwhile, the research group also found that the glycosylation can be spread in population, including the people who have been vaccinated against the HBV. The results of the study interest the foreign scholars, the Italian clinical virologist and hepatologist Brunetto specially wrote a comment for this, said the results have important value in clinical application, and pointed out that the virus immune escaped mutant will be gradually more and more in patients with chronic HVB, and maybe relate with the progression of HVB,  which remains to be further studied in a prospective cohort of larger sample.

  Zhang Xinxin ect. have been committed to study the translation of HVB for years, meanwhile, they cooperated with foreign advanced laboratory. Dr. Yu Demin, the first author of the paper, has studied and did lots of researches with Professor Fabien Zoulim’s group of France‘s National Health Research Institute. This project is supported by the National Natural Science Fund, the major projects of national infectious disease, the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission International Cooperation Project and so on.