Impact of Immune Reconstitution-Induced Hepatic Flare on Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Loss in Hepatitis B Virus/Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Coinfected Patients

J Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 15;223(12):2080-2089. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa662.


Background: Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss is an ideal goal for chronic hepatitis B patients. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in hepatitis B virus/human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HBV/HIV-1)-coinfected patients can lead to hepatic flare (HF) caused by immune reconstitution-induced inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). Here, we investigated the impact of IRIS-HF on HBsAg loss.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of 58 HBV/HIV-1-coinfected subjects HBsAg-positive for ≥6 months before ART initiation and followed for ≥1 year (median 9.9 years) after ART initiation. We examined humoral factors in sera from healthy volunteers, HIV-monoinfected patients, and HBV/HIV-1-coinfected patients with IRIS-HF or acute hepatitis B infection.

Results: During ART, HBsAg loss was observed in 20 of 58 HBV/HIV-1-coinfected patients (34.5%). Of the 58 patients, 15 (25.9%) developed IRIS-HF within 12 months of ART initiation. HBsAg loss was more frequent among patients who developed IRIS-HF (11/15, 73.3%) than those who did not (9/43, 20.9%). Multivariate analysis showed IRIS-HF was an independent predictor of subsequent HBsAg loss. Younger age and higher baseline HBV DNA titer were associated with IRIS-HF. Elevation of sCD163, not CXCL9, CXC10, CXCXL11, or CXCL13, was observed at IRIS-HF.

Conclusions: IRIS-HF was associated with HBsAg loss in HBV/HIV-1-coinfected patients.

Keywords: HBV/HIV-1; antiretroviral therapy; chemokine; chronic hepatitis; functional cure.