Prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus infection in hemodialysis patients in Isfahan, Iran


1 Department of Gastroenterology, Isfahan Liver Disease Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The absence of a detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) with or without hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) or hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) in the presence of hepatitis B virus-DNA (HBV-DNA) is defined as occult HBV infection. This study was aimed to evaluate the prevalence of occult HBV infection in patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) in Isfahan, Iran.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was done on 400 patients without acute or chronic HBV infection with end-stage renal disease undergoing regular HD. Blood samples were collected prior to the HD session, and serological markers of viral hepatitis B included HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc were measured using standard third generation commercially avail-able enzyme immunoassays kit, then samples of positive anti-HBc and negative anti-HBs were tested for HBV DNA using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques. Data were analyzed by SPSS using t-test and Chi-square test.
Results: The mean age of patients was 51.6 ± 11.2 years. Anti-HBc positive was observed in 32 (8%) of 400 studied patients with negative HBsAg. Of 32 patients with anti-HBc positive, 15 were males and 17 were females with mean age of 49.7 ± 12.6 years. Among 32 patients with anti-HBc positive, 10 patients were negative for anti-HBs. All of 10 patients were negative for HBV DNA. The prevalence of occult HBV infection was 0%.
Conclusions: The prevalence of occult HBV infection in HBsAg negative patients undergoing HD was 0% and look to be among the lowest worldwide. So, occult HBV infection is not a significant health problem in HD patients in this region.


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