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Detection of in vivo hepatitis B virus surface antigen mutations—A comparison of four routine screening assays

An important requirement for a state-of-the-art hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) screening assay is reliable detection of mutated HBsAg. Currently, there is a striking shortage of data regarding the detection rates of in vivo HBsAg mutations for these clinically important assays. Therefore, we compared the detection rates of four commercial HBsAg screening assays using a global cohort of 1553 patients from four continents with known HBV genotypes.

These samples, which represent the broadest spectrum of known and novel HBsAg major hydrophilic region (MHR) mutations to date, were analyzed for the presence of HBsAg using the Roche Elecsys® HBsAg II Qualitative, Siemens ADVIA Centaur XP HBsAg II, Abbott Architect HBsAg Qualitative II, and DiaSorin Liaison® HBsAg Qualitative assays, respectively. Of the 1553 samples, 1391 samples could be sequenced; of these, 1013 (72.8%) carried at least one of the 345 currently known amino acid substitutions (distinct HBsAg)