Intervirology, August 2000, Vol.43(2), pp.71-76
Although isolated antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) is frequently nonspecific or may be the only serological marker of past self-limiting hepatitis B, where antibodies against the surface antigen have disappeared, isolated anti-HBc seropositivity is frequently associated with chronic hepatitis B in HIV- and HCV-infected individuals. Of 5,520 samples that tested positive for anti-HBc (IMx and AxSYM CORE, Abbott, Delkenheim, Germany) at the Institute of Virology, University Clinic Frankfurt during the time interval from January 1994 to February 1996, 643 (11.6%) were isolated anti-HBc-reactive in the IMx and AxSYM CORE assays (inhibition values 〉90%). There was a statistically significant association between isolated anti-HBc seropositivity and HCV and HIV/HCV coinfection (p 〈 0.05). A total of 190 samples were available for further testing. Six (3.2%) of 190 isolated anti-HBc-positive samples were considered false-positive since they were only positive in the AxSYM or IMx CORE assay and a linear decrease of the measured signal could not be observed in dilution series. Of 184 serum samples tested with nested PCR using primers of the S genome region, only 6 (3.3%) were HBV DNA-positive. Anti-HBc-IgM antibody could be detected in 3 (1.6 %) of the tested samples using the IMx CORE-M. With the more sensitive VIDAS HBc IgM specific IgM antibody was detected in 15 (8.5%) of 177 samples at concentrations ranging from 10 to 〉200 Paul Ehrlich Institute U/ml. HIV or HCV coinfection was present in 28.1% and 37.5% of isolated anti-HBc-positive individuals, respectively. We conclude from our observations that only a limited proportion of anti-HBc-isolated individuals are potentially infectious, however anti-HBc-IgM which is detectable in any form of liver disease associated with HBV infection was present in more than 8% of the individuals. Of isolated anti-HBc-positive sera 37% were positive for anti-HCV, suggesting that anti-HCV antibody testing should be performed in isolated anti-HBc-positive individuals.
Original Paper ; HIV ; Hbv ; Pcr ; Viral Load ; Anti-Hbc ; Anti-Hbc-Igm ; Biology
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