Occult hepatitis B: the Egyptian situation

Mohammad Hassan Emara
2012 Tropical gastrology  
Occult hepatitis B infection is defined as the presence of HBV DNA in serum and/or the liver tissue without detectable HBsAg with or without anti-HBc or anti-HBs antibodies. In Egypt many studies on occult hepatitis B have been conducted and this infection is well established in various patients groups. This short review sheds light on the occurrence of occult hepatitis B infection among different disease states in Egypt. The coexistence of occult hepatitis B with hepatitis C infection is of
more » ... infection is of particular importance because of its added co-morbidity of liver enzymes elevation, increased severity of liver disease and increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Patients on regular hemodialysis and those exposed to blood transfusion are at high risk of acquiring this form of infection. The highest prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus in Egypt was reported among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and similar to the scenario for classic hepatitis B infection, genotype D is the most prevalent genotype. KEYWORDS: occult hepatitis B, hepatitis C, pegylated interferon, hepatocellular carcinoma detectable HBsAg with or without anti-HBc or anti-HBs antibodies outside the pre-seroconversion window period. 5 Prevalence of OBI varies in different studies due to differences in: (1) method of detection, including PCR primer selection and sensitivity of the assay; (2) patient recruitment, for example blood donors with/without anti-HBc; (3) patients from countries highly endemic for HBV are more likely to develop OBI; (4) prevalence may vary according to the nature of the biological material tested, with a higher proportion for liver compared to serum specimens and also the amount of DNA in the tested sample may influence prevalence rates of OBI; 6 and (5) a spurious increase of OBI prevalence rates may
doi:10.7869/tg.2012.65 fatcat:zls6ohoriffobewu625tzokzkm