Occult hepatitis B: the Egyptian situation

Tropical Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, 44519, Egypt.
Tropical gastroenterology: official journal of the Digestive Diseases Foundation 12/2012; http://www.tropicalgastro.com/(4). DOI: 10.7869/tg.2012.65


Occult hepatitis B infection is defined as the presence of HBV DNA in serum and/or the liver
tissue without detectable HBsAg with or without anti-HBc or anti-HBs antibodies. In Egypt
many studies on occult hepatitis B have been conducted and this infection is well established
in various patients groups. This short review sheds light on the occurrence of occult hepatitis
B infection among different disease states in Egypt. The coexistence of occult hepatitis B with
hepatitis C infection is of particular importance because of its added co-morbidity of liver
enzymes elevation, increased severity of liver disease and increased risk of hepatocellular
carcinoma. Patients on regular hemodialysis and those exposed to blood transfusion are at
high risk of acquiring this form of infection. The highest prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus
in Egypt was reported among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and similar to the scenario
for classic hepatitis B infection, genotype D is the most prevalent genotype.

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