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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670

Abstract

JARDIM, Ruth Nogueira Cordeiro Moraes et al. Occult hepatitis B virus infection in immunocompromised patients. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2008, vol.12, n.4, pp. 300-305. ISSN 1413-8670.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702008000400008.

Occult hepatitis B infection is characterized by hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the serum in the absence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). We assessed occult HBV infection prevalence in two groups of immunocompromised patients (maintenance hemodialysis patients and HIV-positive patients) presenting HBsAg-negative and anti-HBc positive serological patterns, co-infected or not by HCV. Thirty-four hemodialysis anti-HIV negative patients, 159 HIV-positive patients and 150 blood donors who were anti-HBc positive (control group) were selected. HBV-DNA was detected by nested-PCR. Occult hepatitis B infection was not observed in the hemodialysis patients group but was found in 5% of the HIV-patients and in 4% of the blood donors. Immunosuppression in HIV positive patients was not a determining factor for occult HBV infection. In addition, no significant relationship between HBV-DNA and HCV co-infection in the HIV-positive patient group was found. A lack of significant associations was also observed between positivity for HBV-DNA and CD4 count, viral load and previous lamivudine treatment in these HIV-positive patients.

Keywords : Occult HBV infection; HBV-DNA; anti-HBc alone; hemodialysis; HIV; immunosupressed patients.

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