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; 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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Available from: Mohamed H Emara, Oct 05, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The emerging evidence of the potentially clinical importance of occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) increases the interest in this topic. OBI may impact in several clinical contexts, which include the possible transmission of the infection, the contribution to liver disease progression, the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, and the risk of reactivation. There are several articles that have published on OBI in Egyptian populations. A review of MEDLINE database was undertaken for relevant articles to clarify the epidemiology of OBI in Egypt. HBV genotype D is the only detectable genotype among Egyptian OBI patients. Higher rates of OBI reported among Egyptian chronic HCV, hemodialysis, children with malignant disorders, and cryptogenic liver disease patients. There is an evidence of OBI reactivation after treatment with chemotherapy. The available data suggested that screening for OBI must be a routine practice in these groups of patients. Further studies needed for better understand of the epidemiology of OBI among Egyptian young generations after the era of hepatitis B vaccination.
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