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No evidence of hepatitis B virus activity in patients with anti-HBc antibody positivity with or without anti-hepatitis C virus antibody positivity

Journal of Clinical Virology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1386-6532(03)00156-2
  • Co-Infection
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Hepatitis C Virus
  • Hbv Dna
  • Anti-Hbc Antibodies
  • Anti-Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract Background: The serological pattern of anti-HBc antibody positivity without both, HBsAg and anti-HBs antibody positivity may be present in up to 4% of the population of Europe and the United States. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the hepatitis B virus (HBV) activity by detection of serum HBV DNA in patients with anti-HBc antibody positivity only and with confirmed anti-hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) antibody positivity or without anti-HCV antibody positivity. Study design: A total of 141 patients positive for anti-HBc antibodies only, were investigated on serum HBV DNA load. Patients were classified into two groups: patients with confirmed positive anti-HCV antibodies (group 1) and patients without anti-HCV antibodies (group 2). Results: Demographic data of patient groups were similar. In 66 of 70 patients with anti-HBc antibodies and anti-HCV antibodies (group 1), serum HCV RNA was detected; the remaining 4 patients were HCV RNA negative but the presence of anti-HCV antibodies was confirmed by the line probe assay. In none of the patients, with anti-HBc antibodies and without anti-HCV antibodies (group 2), serum HCV RNA was detected. In none of the patients, serum HBV DNA was detected. Conclusion: In this study, serum HBV DNA could not be detected in patients with anti-HBc antibodies only. There seems to be no need for determination of serum HBV DNA in patients without clinical evidence of chronic liver disease. Nevertheless, it would be useful to test patients with progressive liver disease and those, which belong to high-risk groups such as hemophiliacs, intravenous drug abusers, patients on hemodialysis, and immunocompromised patients.

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