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Hepat Mon. 2013 May 29;13(5):e10134. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.10134. eCollection 2013 May.

Prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell compartments of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection in tehran-iran.

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1
Department of Basic Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, IR Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) is frequently reported in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. An association between OBI and more liver damage, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and reduced response to interferon therapy in patients with HCV infection is suggested.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of occult HBV, and evaluate its clinical influence on patients with chronic HCV.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A cohort study including50 patients with positive results for HCV, and negative results for HBsAg tests was performed. The patients were divided into two groups: one group had positive results for both HCV and occult HBV tests (n = 18), and the other had positive results for HCV, but negative findings for occult HBV (n = 32). All were treated with PEG-IFN alpha-2a and Ribavirin. Presence of HCV RNA was followed in these patients.

RESULTS:

HBV-DNA was detected using nested-PCR in 20% of plasma and 32.6% of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) compartments. No significant differences were observed between patients with and without occult HBV for sex, age, duration of HCV infection, histological markers, presence of anti-HBc, HCV viral load, and HCV genotype. The response rate was significantly higher in patients with positive results for HBV-DNA test compared to those with negative findings (100% vs. 71.9 %, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion, occult HBV was found in 36% of patients with negative results for HBsAg, but positive results for HCV. Detection of HBV-DNA in both PBMCs and plasma together in comparison with plasma alone provided more true identification of OBI.The SVR rate was significantly higher in coinfected patients than mono-infected ones.

KEYWORDS:

Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C Virus; Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell

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