Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Antiviral Therapy


Gian Paolo Caviglia 1 , Maria Lorena Abate 1 , Paola Manzini 2 , Franca Danielle 2 , Alessia Ciancio ORCID 3 , Chiara Rosso 1 , Antonella Olivero 1 , Rinaldo Pellicano ORCID 3 , * , Giovanni Antonio Touscoz ORCID 3 , Antonina Smedile ORCID 3 , Mario Rizzetto ORCID 3

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Italy

2 Blood Bank, San Giovanni Battista University Hospital (Molinette), Italy

3 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, San Giovanni Battista University Hospital (Molinette), [email protected], Italy

How to Cite: Caviglia G, Abate M, Manzini P, Danielle F, Ciancio A, et al. Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Antiviral Therapy, Hepat Mon. 2012 ; 12(11):7292. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.7292.


Hepatitis Monthly: 12 (11); 7292
Published Online: November 30, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 1, 2012
Accepted: July 28, 2012


Background: Occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) is defined as the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver and/or in the serum of patients with negative results of hepatitis B s antigen (HBsAg) test with or without serological markers of previous viral exposure. The impact of OBI in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is still unclear.

Objectives: The Aim of this study was to assess OBI prevalence and its potential implications on treatment outcome in a cohort of patients with CHC underwent standard antiviral therapy.

Patients and Methods: Baseline serum samples from 137 HBsAg-negative CHC patients treated with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin (73 Responders/74 Non Responders),were retrospectively analyzed for HBV status.

Results: Seventy-three patients (53.3%) showed markers of previous exposure to HBV. HBV DNA was detected in 2 of 137 serum samples (1.5%), both carrying HBV antibodies. Liver biopsies and post-therapy sera were available for 35 patients (12 Responders/23 Non Responders). HBV DNA sequences were found in 13 of 35 specimens (37.1%), all of patients with HBV DNA negativity in basal and post-therapy serum samples. Among OBI-positive patients, 5 (38.5%) carried serological markers of HBV infection. Regarding therapy outcome, in the OBI-positive group there were 5 of 13 (38.5%) sustained virological responders (SVR) compared to 7 of 22 (31.8%) in the OBI-negative one.

Conclusions: Despite the high prevalence rate of liver HBV DNA in patients with CHC, SVR was not affected by occult HBV infection.

Full Text

Full text is available in PDF

© 2012, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.