3 years ago

Prevalence and natural course of occult hepatitis B virus infection in residents of two communities of Wuwei City, Gansu Province, China

Zhongshu Pu, Haixia Su, Xiaohui Wen, Yong Long, Xiaochun Li, Xiaojie Yuan, Zhongjun Shao, Weilu Zhang, Yang Wang, Yongping Yan, Zhaohua Ji, Lei Zhang, Jie Gao
Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is characterized by serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA positive (HBsAg-/HBV DNA+). OBI in community-based populations has been scarcely investigated, and OBI outcomes remain unclear, especially in Wuwei, a region located in Northwest China. This region is one of the areas in China that has the highest prevalence of chronic HBV infection. A prospective study was performed in the general population of two towns of Wuwei from June 2011 to May 2014. A questionnaire was used to collect demographic and medical data, and serum samples were collected from the participants and stored until analysis. HBV DNA was detected using quantitative PCR (qPCR) or nested PCR, the HBV DNA from HBV DNA positive or possible positive (below the detection limit) subjects were extracted and amplified by nested PCR, and the PCR products was sequenced. Sequence analysis was performed using the Mega 6.0 program and CLC sequence viewer software. HBV DNA was detected in 90 of 3,080 HBsAg negative subjects, and the prevalence of OBI in the study population was 2.92% (90/3,080, 95%CI: 2.33%-3.51%). HBV genomes in 51 of 80 objects (63.75%) contained mutations in the “a” determinant of HBsAg. After two years follow-up, 42 of 90 HBV DNA of OBI subjects remained positive, and the natural clearance rate of OBI subjects was 53.3%. OBI prevalence in this cohort was much lower than chronic HBV infection in the same region. HBV DNA was cleared in most OBI subjects during the two-year period. Our data suggests that some OBI may represent a late stage of resolving the HBV infection process. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jvh.12805

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