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Title: Occult hepatitis B in Mexican patients with HIV, an analysis using nested polymerase chain reaction
Author: Torres-Baranda, R.
Bastidas-Ramirez, B.E.
Maldonado-Gonzalez, M.
Sanchez-Orozco, L.V.
Vazquez-Vals, E.
Rodriguez-Noriega, E.
Panduro-Cerda, Arturo
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) with undetectable levels of HBsAg, has been named occult HBV infection and observed in immunosuppressed patients. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of occult HBV infection in patients with HIV from the West of M�xico, using a combination of serological markers and nPCR. Thirty eight HIV/AIDS patients, 32 men (84.2%) and 6 (5.8%) women, without liver damage related symptoms were studied. HBV coinfection was observed in 10 (26.3%) patients; while only 3 (7.9%) of them were positive to HBsAg. Thus, 7 (18.4%) occult HBV infected patients could be assessed in this population. One (10%) patient with occult HBV infection was positive to anti-HBs, in spite of the reinfection protection attributed to this serological marker. Anti-HBc was detected only in 2 (20%) patients with occult HBV infection. No significant association could be established between occult HBV infection and CD+4 cell count, biochemical, clinical parameters, AIDS stage, or any other risk factor. This study suggest that determination of HBV DNA utilizing highly sensitive techniques, as nPCR, should be performed to detect occult HBV infection, even in the absence of anti-HBc in HIV/AIDS patients, in order to have a reliable diagnosis, prevent HBV dissemination and acute exacerbation of chronic hepatitis B or even fulminant hepatitis. To our knowledge this is the first study of occult HBV infection in Mexican patients with HIV. However, further studies are necessary in order to determine HBV genotypes and its relationship with evolution and clinical manifestation of the disease. Copyright � 2006: Mexican Association of Hepatology.
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