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Hepat Mon. 2015 Sep 29;15(9):e30790. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.30790. eCollection 2015 Sep.

Detection of Hepatitis B Virus Covalently Closed Circular DNA in the Plasma of Iranian HBeAg-Negative Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, IR Iran.
2
Department of Virology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
3
Department of Virology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran ; HIV Laboratory of National Center, Deputy of Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
4
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Payame Noor University, Karaj, IR Iran.
5
Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, IR Iran.
6
Middle East Liver Disease Center, Tehran, IR Iran ; Iran Hepatitis Network, Tehran, IR Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a marker of HBV replication in the liver of patients infected with HBV.

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to investigate the association between the presence of cccDNA in the plasma samples of Iranian treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B infection and HBV viral load and HBsAg levels.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

From April 2012 to May 2015, 106 treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B infection were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. The HBsAg titer was measured by the Roche HBsAg II assay on the Cobas e411 system, and HBV DNA quantitation was performed using the COBAS TaqMan 48 kit. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed for the detection of HBV cccDNA.

RESULTS:

The mean (SD) age of the patients was 41.1 ± 12.4 years (range, 20 - 62 years). From a total of 106 study participants, 67 (63.2%) were males. The HBV cccDNA was detected in plasma specimens in 19 (17.9%) out of the total 106 patients, and a significant relationship was found between the presence of cccDNA in plasma sample of males (23.9%) and females (7.7%) (P = 0.039). Also, a significant correlation was found between the presence of cccDNA in plasma sample of the patients and HBV viral load level (P < 0.0001) and HBsAg titer (P = 0.0043).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study showed that cccDNA can be detected in the plasma specimen of 17.9% of Iranian treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B infection. Therefore, designing prospective studies focusing on the detection of cccDNA in these patients would provide more information.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic; HBV; Hepatitis B; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; cccDNA

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