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Hepatology. 1985 Jul-Aug;5(4):544-7.

Liver disease activity and hepatitis B virus replication in chronic delta antigen-positive hepatitis B virus carriers.

Abstract

Delta antigen is currently thought to reflect superinfection of the liver with a defective RNA virus (delta agent), requiring helper function from hepatitis B virus for its replication. To assess the influence of delta agent on hepatitis B virus replication in patients persistently infected with both viruses and showing chronic liver disease, we measured serum and liver hepatitis B virus DNA in HBsAg-positive chronic liver disease patients who were either positive or negative for delta antigen in the liver. Hepatitis B virus DNA was assayed in the serum of 21 patients with delta antigen-positive/HBsAg-positive chronic liver disease and in 21 patients with delta antigen-negative/HBsAg-positive chronic liver disease matched for HBeAg/anti-HBe status and underlying liver histology. HBcAg and delta antigen in liver was determined by immunofluorescence or immunoperoxidase staining. In delta antigen-positive/HBsAg-positive chronic liver disease, serum hepatitis B virus DNA was detected transiently in 4 of 21 cases (19%) and was present in these patients at low levels (trace to 2+). In contrast, 9 of 21 (43%) delta antigen-negative/HBsAg-positive chronic liver disease patients were serum hepatitis B virus DNA positive, and five of these had high serum hepatitis B virus DNA levels (3+ to 4+). Serum HBsAg and anti-HBc titers were significantly lower in delta antigen-positive cases and correlated with reduced amount of HBcAg in the liver.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

PMID:
4018727
DOI:
10.1002/hep.1840050404
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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