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World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 28;17(12):1538-42. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i12. 1538.

Prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus infection.

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Service of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Av Budapest-1, 28922 Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain.


Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) is characterized by the persistence of HBV DNA in the liver tissue in individuals negative for the HBV surface antigen. The prevalence of OBI is quite variable depending on the level of endemic disease in different parts of the world, the different assays utilized in the studies, and the different populations studied. Many studies have been carried out on OBI prevalence in different areas of the world and categories of individuals. The studies show that OBI prevalence seems to be higher among subjects at high risk for HBV infection and with liver disease than among individuals at low risk of infection and without liver disease.


Anti-HBc; Blood donors; Crytogenetic hepatitis; Dialysis; Hepatitis B virus DNA; Hepatitis B virus seronegative; Hepatitis C; Human immunodeficiency virus; Occult hepatitis B virus infection

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