Occult hepatitisB virus infection in anti-HBc alone haemodialysis patients

Abstract number: O231

Ramezani A., Aghakhani A., Mohraz M., Eslamifar A., Khadem-Sadegh A., Banifazl M., Velayati A.A.

Objectives: Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is characterised by presence of HBV infection with undetectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Occult HBV infection harbours potential risk of HBV transmission through haemodialysis (HD). The aim of this study was to assess the occult HBV infection in hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) alone haemodialysis patients.

Methods: A total of 289 HD patients from five dialysis units in Tehran, Iran were included in this study. HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc, anti-HCV, ALT and AST levels were tested in all subjects. The presence of HBV-DNA was determined quantitatively in plasma samples of HD patients with anti-HBc alone (HBsAg negative, anti-HBs negative and anti-HBc positive) by real-time PCR using the artus HBV RG PCR kit on the Rotor-Gene 3000 real-time thermal cycler.

Results: Of 289 patients enrolled in this study, 18 subjects (6.2%, 95% CI, 3.5%-8.9%) had anti-HBc alone. HBV-DNA was detectable in 9 of 18 HD patients (50%, 95% CI, 27%-73%) with anti-HBc alone. Plasma HBV-DNA load was less than 50 IU/ml in all of these patients.

Conclusion: Our study showed that detection of anti-HBc alone could reflect unrecognized occult HBV infection in HD patients. The majority of these infections are associated with low viral loads.

Session Details

Date: 16/05/2009
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 19th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Helsinki, Finland, 16 - 19 May 2009
Presentation type:
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