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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

versión impresa ISSN 0037-8682


ALBUQUERQUE, Ana Cecília Cavalcanti de; COELHO, Maria Rosângela Cunha Duarte; LEMOS, Marcílio Figueiredo  y  MOREIRA, Regina Célia. Occult hepatitis B virus infection in hemodialysis patients in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Brazil. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.5, pp.558-562. ISSN 0037-8682.

INTRODUCTION: Persistence of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome in individuals negative for the HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) reflects occult infection. The aim of this study was to identify occult HBV infection among hemodialysis patients at 5 clinics in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Brazil, between August 2006 and August 2007. METHODS: Serum samples underwent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to investigate total antibodies against HBcAg (anti-HBc), HBsAg, and antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs). Samples that were HBsAg-negative were tested for total anti-HBc, and those that were positive for total anti-HBc were tested for anti-HBs. HBV DNA was investigated with an in-house PCR technique to identify samples positive for total anti-HBc. Subsequently, the samples positive for HBV DNA were sequenced to identify the genotype and mutations. RESULTS: The study population (n = 752) had a mean age of 50 15.1 years and included both sexes. All samples analyzed were negative for HBsAg. The seroprevalence of total anti-HBc was 26.7% (201/752), while that of anti-HBs was 67.2% (135/201). Total anti-HBc alone was detected in 5.7% of the patients. Occult infection was found in 1.5%, comprising genotypes A (33.3%, 1/3) and D (66.7%, 2/3). No mutations were found. CONCLUSIONS: The study detected occult hepatitis B virus infection in hemodialysis patients. Molecular studies on HBV are of fundamental importance because they identify patients that had been considered virus-negative but who, in reality, host the virus and have the ability to transmit it to other patients and staff.

Palabras clave : Hepatitis B; Occult infection; Genotypes; Prevalence.

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