November 18, 2010

Occult Hepatitis B Infection in Egyptian Chronic Hepatitis C patients: Prevalence, impact on Pegylated Interferon/Ribavirin therapy

Published on: 2010-11-17

Chronic HCV infection combined with occult hepatitis B infection has been associated with liver enzymes flare, advanced hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis, poor response to standard interferon-alpha, and increased risk of HCC. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of occult hepatitis B infection in Egyptian chronic HCV patients, and to clarify its role in non-response of those patients to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.

This study enrolled 155 consecutive chronic HCV patients under pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy. All patients were exposed to clinical assessment, biochemical, histological and virological examinations.

HBV parameters (HBV DNA, anti-HBc, anti-HBs) and patients'response status to the combination therapy were determined.

Results: In this study, occult hepatitis B infection occurs in 3.9% of Egyptian chronic HCV patients; tends to affect younger age patients, associated with higher base line HCV viral load, less hepatic fibrosis than monoinfected patients. This occult hepatitis B infection is not a statistically significant cause of non-response to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.

Anti-HBs was not associated with any biochemical, histological or virological abnormalities in those patients, contrary to low response rate to therapy and higher HCV viral load that was observed with anti-HBc.

Conclusions: Detection of HBV DNA in HBsAg negative chronic HCV patients plays a non significant role in non-response of Egyptian patients to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.

Author: Mohamed EmaraNahla El-GammalLamiaa MohamedMaged Bahgat

Credits/Source: Virology Journal 2010, 7:324


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