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J Med Virol. 2010 Feb;82(2):206-12. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21685.

Occult hepatitis B infection in patients infected with HIV: report of two cases of hepatitis B reactivation and prevalence in a hospital cohort.

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Laboratory of Virology, CHU Nancy Brabois, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


Patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are particularly at risk of hepatitis B reactivation. Two cases of patients infected with HIV with isolated anti-HBc antibodies who had experienced an HBV reactivation are described. In the two cases HBV reactivation occurred after withdrawal of anti-retroviral treatment with anti-HBV activity from the patients' highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), in accordance with HIV genotypic resistance profiles. Consequently, plasma samples from 383 patients infected with HIV were tested to assess the prevalence of occult HBV infection in the Infectious Diseases Department Unit of Nancy Hospital by investigating serological patterns and HBV replication. Forty-five percent (172/383) of patients had had previous contact with HBV. Isolated anti-HBc antibodies were observed in 48 patients (48/383, 12%) and, among these, 2 were HBV-DNA positive. Since 75% (288/383) of the patients were treated with HAART, including at least one drug active against HBV, occult HBV infection was perhaps unrecognized. In cases of HIV infection, all patients should be screened for HBV infection and the knowledge of HBV status as well as the monitoring of HBV viral load are essential in preventing HBV reactivation. Consideration should be given to the continuation of drugs with anti-HBV activity in co-infected patients receiving HAART, as cessation of therapy is associated with a risk of HBV reactivation. At least, close monitoring of the HBV viral load is warranted in such situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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