*Hepatology Center, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
†GeneMatrix, Seongnam, Korea.
‡Department of Pathology, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
§Surgery of Transplantation, Tianjin First Central Hospital, Tianjin, China.
A 60-year-old woman with end stage liver cirrhosis caused by genotype 2 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection received an orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). The patient was negative for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and positive for the anti-hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) prior to and one and a half months following the OLT. Due to reactivation of hepatitis C, treatment with interferon-alpha and Ribavirin started two months following the OLT and resulted in a sustained virological response. We performed a liver biopsy because a biochemical response was not achieved. Surprisingly, liver pathology showed HBsAg-positive hepatocytes with a lobular hepatitis feature, which had been negative in the liver biopsy specimen obtained one and a half months post-OLT. High titers of both HBsAg and HBeAg were detected, while anti-HBs antibodies were not found. Tests for IgM anti-hepatitis B core antibody and anti-delta virus antibodies were negative. The serum HBV DNA titer was over 1×107 copies/mL. A sequencing analysis showed no mutation in the "a" determinant region, but revealed a mixture of wild and mutant strains at an overlapping region of the S and P genes (S codon 213 (Leu/Ile); P codons 221 (Phe/Tyr) and 222 (Ala/Thr)). These findings suggest that