Detection of HBV genome in the plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Iranian HBsAg negative patients with HIV infection: occult HBV infection
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The presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the absence of traceable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the plasma specimen of patients is defined as occult HBV infection (OBI). This study aimed to detect HBV-DNA in the plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of Iranian HBsAg negative patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 172 patients with HIV infection from September 2015 to August 2017. The patients were tested for serological parameters (HBsAg, HBcAb, HBeAg and HBeAb) against HBV infection. Moreover, they were tested for HBV viral load (using COBAS TaqMan 48 Kit, Roche, USA) in plasma and the presence of the HBV genome in PBMC specimens using real-time PCR. The mean age of the patients was 35.4 ± 13.4 years. Of the 172 studied patients, 109 (63.4%) were male. In this study, 151 (87.8%) patients were negative for HBsAg, 111 (64.5%) patients were negative for all HBV infection serological markers, 9 (5.2%) patients were only positive for HBsAg and 29 (16.9%) patients were only positive for HBcAb. Moreover, five (3.3%) patients with HBsAg negative had OBI (in the plasma sample of four patients and PBMC specimens of all five patients, HBV-DNA was detected). The present study revealed that 3.3% of the patients with HIV infection had occult HBV infection. Presumably, designing prospective studies to identify this infection in patients with HIV infection is informative and valuable.
The authors of the present research would like to thank all the candidates who enrolled in this study.
Sources of funding
The current study was financially supported by Research Deputy of Iran University of Medical Sciences (grant number: 27008).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors of the current research declare no conflict(s) of interest.
Ethical approval for the current study was received from the local ethics committee of the Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran. All of the participants were informed about the present research, with a written consent form obtained from them prior to their enrollment. All the experiments were done in the HIV Laboratory of National Centre, Vice Chancellor for Health, IUMS, Tehran, Iran.
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