Article

Occult hepatitis B virus infection in immunocompromised patients.

Study Group of Hepatitis, Infectious Disease, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medical Science, State University of Campinas, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
The Brazilian journal of infectious diseases: an official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.04). 09/2008; 12(4):300-5. DOI: 10.1590/S1413-86702008000400008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Occult hepatitis B infection is characterized by hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the serum in the absence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). We assessed occult HBV infection prevalence in two groups of immunocompromised patients (maintenance hemodialysis patients and HIV-positive patients) presenting HBsAg-negative and anti-HBc positive serological patterns, co-infected or not by HCV. Thirty-four hemodialysis anti-HIV negative patients, 159 HIV-positive patients and 150 blood donors who were anti-HBc positive (control group) were selected. HBV-DNA was detected by nested-PCR. Occult hepatitis B infection was not observed in the hemodialysis patients group but was found in 5% of the HIV-patients and in 4% of the blood donors. Immunosuppression in HIV positive patients was not a determining factor for occult HBV infection. In addition, no significant relationship between HBV-DNA and HCV co-infection in the HIV-positive patient group was found. A lack of significant associations was also observed between positivity for HBV-DNA and CD4 count, viral load and previous lamivudine treatment in these HIV-positive patients.

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