JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prevalence and characteristics of hepatitis B and C virus infections in treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients

Stefan Reuter, Mark Oette, Frank Clemens Wilhelm, Bastian Beggel, Rolf Kaiser, Melanie Balduin, Finja Schweitzer, Jens Verheyen, Ortwin Adams, Thomas Lengauer, Gerd Fätkenheuer, Herbert Pfister, Dieter Häussinger
Medical Microbiology and Immunology 2011, 200 (1): 39-49
20853118
In HIV-infected treatment-naïve patients, we analyzed risk factors for either chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection, occult HBV infection (OHBV) or a positive hepatitis C (HCV) serostatus. A total of 918 patients of the RESINA-cohort in Germany were included in this study. Before initiating antiretroviral therapy, clinical parameters were collected and blood samples were analyzed for antibodies against HIV, HBV and HCV, HBs antigen and viral nucleic acids for HIV and HBV. Present or past HBV infection (i.e. HBsAg and/or anti-HBc) was found in 43.4% of patients. HBsAg was detected in 4.5% (41/918) and HBV DNA in 6.1% (34/554), resulting in OHBV infection in 2.9% (16/554) of patients. OHBV infection could not be ruled out by the presence of anti-HBs (50.1%) or the absence of all HBV seromarkers (25%). A HCV-positive serostatus was associated with the IVDU transmission route, non-African ethnicity, elevated liver parameters (ASL or GGT) and low HIV viral load. Replicative HBV infection and HCV-positive serostatus both correlated with HIV resistance mutations (P = 0.001 and P = 0.028). HBV and HCV infection are frequent co-infections in HIV treatment-naive patients. These co-infections influence viral evolution, clinical parameters and serological markers. Consequently, HIV patients should routinely be tested for HBV and HCV infection before initiating HIV treatment. OHBV infection constituted almost half of all HBV infections with detectable HBV DNA. Due to a lack of risk factors indicating OHBV infection, HBV diagnosis should not only include serological markers but also the detection of HBV DNA.

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