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Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus dual infection among patients with chronic liver disease

Saravanan, S.; Velu, V.; Nandakumar, S.; Madhavan, V.; Shanmugasundaram, U.; Murugavel, K.G.; Balakrishnan, P.; Kumarasamy, N.; Solomon, S.; Thyagarajan, S.P.

Journal of Microbiology Immunology and Infection 42(2): 122-128

2009


ISSN/ISBN: 1995-9133
PMID: 19597643
Accession: 053516593

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) dual infection accounts for a substantial proportion of liver diseases worldwide. Although the exact prevalence is not known, these viral infections are common among patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). This study was performed to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV dual infection among patients with CLD in Chennai, India. 251 patients were tested for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), immunoglobulin (Ig)-M/IgG antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and anti-HCV antibodies, and HBV-DNA and HCV-RNA by qualitative polymerase chain reaction. Coinfection with HCV and HBV was detected in 15 patients (5.9%), 12 of whom (80.0%) were positive for HCV-RNA and IgG anti-HBc with no evidence of HBV-DNA, while 3 HBsAg-negative patients (20.0%) were positive for HBV-DNA in addition to HCV-RNA. Liver function test profiles were significantly altered for HCV-positive patients compared with HBV-positive and HBV/HCV coinfected patients (p = 0.001). Bilirubin and alanine aminotransferase levels were significantly raised in coinfected patients compared with non-HBV, non-HCV patients (p = 0.001). The results demonstrated that HBV was predominantly associated with underlying CLD among this group of patients in India and suggest that HBV coinfection in HCV-infected patients should not be excluded by negative HBsAg status alone.

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