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J Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;197(3):355-60. doi: 10.1086/525286.

Persistence of occult hepatitis B after removal of the hepatitis B virus-infected liver.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

Occult hepatitis B is defined as the persistence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in persons without HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). The primary site for HBV persistence in persons with occult hepatitis B is considered to be the liver. We provide virological and immunological evidence for long-term persistence of HBV, even after removal of the infected liver, in 25 consecutive, randomly selected liver transplant recipients who tested positive for anti-HBV core antigen (anti-HBcAg) and negative for HBsAg at the time of transplantation. Furthermore, in a cohort of 101 anti-HBcAg-positive/HBsAg-negative patients, 2 showed clinical HBV reactivation after transplantation. Thus, these data indicate that a long-term extrahepatic HBV reservoir exists, which is relevant not only for liver transplantation but also for other types of transplantations, including bone marrow grafting.

PMID:
18248299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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