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Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2013 Sep;37(4):373-83. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2012.11.002. Epub 2013 Mar 9.

Distribution of total DNA and cccDNA in serum and PBMCs may reflect the HBV immune status in HBsAg+ and HBsAg- patients coinfected or not with HIV or HCV.

Author information

1
Inserm UMR 1092, Faculté de médecine, Université Limoges, 2, rue du Docteur-Marcland, 87025 Limoges cedex, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The potential reservoir role of serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for total HBV DNA (tDNA) and cccDNA still remains unknown.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

We analyzed tDNA and cccDNA with a single sensitive and validated standardized real-time PCR method in serum and PBMCs in two populations of chronic HBV infection coinfected or not with HCV and/or HIV viruses: a retrospective cohort of 130 HBsAg-negative (HBsAg-) patients with "anti-HBc alone" or anti-HBc and anti-HBs antibodies (Ab) and a cohort of 70 HBsAg-positive patients, 16 of them being prospectively followed under treatment.

RESULTS:

Among HBsAg- patients, HBV DNA was detected in serum or PBMCs in about half of the cases with various distributions of tDNA and cccDNA: in HIV-negative patients with an "antiHBc alone" profile, tDNA was mostly detected in PBMCs suggesting a possible active role of PBMCs; although cccDNA was not detected in PBMCs in HIV-positive patients, tDNA and cccDNA were mostly observed in serum, suggesting a specific pattern of more "persistent" than "occult" infection in this population. Patients with anti-HBc and anti-HBs Ab harbored tDNA in serum or in PBMCs, regardless of their HIV or HCV status, raising the question of a viral reactivation risk during immunosupression in these patients. Among HBsAg+ patients, tDNA was detected in serum and PBMCs of 88.5% of the cases and cccDNA in 22%. Levels of tDNA in both compartments were highly correlated during treatment, suggesting a passive reservoir role for PBMCs.

CONCLUSION:

The respective distribution of tDNA and cccDNA in serum and PBMCs may reflect the different immune statuses of the host in HBsAg+ and HBsAg- patients. The frequency of HBV DNA in PBMCs from AgHBs- patients suggests a viral reactivation risk during immunodepression in those patients.

PMID:
23477988
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinre.2012.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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