Long-term presence of HBV in the sera of chronic hepatitis B patients with HBsAg seroclearance

Intervirology. 2007;50(3):161-5. doi: 10.1159/000098958. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Abstract

Objects: The aim of this study was to elucidate the presence of serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA at a prolonged time after seroclearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).

Methods: Seventy Japanese patients who had been observed for >5 years after HBsAg seroclearance were included in this study. Anti-HBs, anti-HBe and anti-HBc antibodies were measured 0, 5 and 10 years after HBsAg seroclearance. Serum HBV DNA was measured using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at 0, 5 and 10 years after HBsAg seroclearance. The PCR detection of serum HBV DNA using the X gene and core gene primers was done. The HBV DNA was regarded as positive when PCR detection of HBV DNA using either or both the X gene and core gene primers was positive. A multivariate regression analysis was used to assess the factors contributing to the positivity of serum HBV DNA 5 years after HBsAg seroclearance: the factors examined included age, gender, histological findings, HBV genotype, aminotransferase, total protein and interferon administration.

Results: The titers of 200-fold diluted serum anti-HBc were 6.5 +/- 4.0 at 0 year after HBsAg seroclearance, 1.8 +/- 1.4 at 5 years and 0.9 +/- 0.7 at 10 years. The titers of 200-fold diluted serum anti-HBc decreased 5 and 10 years after HBsAg seroclearance with statistical significance. The positive rate of HBV DNA by the nested PCR was 71.4% (50/70) at 0 year after HBsAg seroclearance, 21.4% (15/70) at 5 years and 14.3% (3/21) at 10 years. However, there were no significant factors contributing to the positivity of serum HBV DNA 5 years after HBsAg seroclearance.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that serum HBV DNA disappears with an incidence of 10-20% 5 and 10 years after HBsAg seroclearance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asians
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / genetics
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood*
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Serum / virology*
  • Trans-Activators
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins / genetics
  • Viremia*

Substances

  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Trans-Activators
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins
  • hepatitis B virus X protein