The Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Hepatitis B and C Coinfection

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

Abstract

Background: HBV and HCV coinfection is common, particularly in endemic areas and among high risk groups. In this study we have investigated the prevalence of HBV/HCV coinfection and compared the biochemical and serological characteristics of such patients compare with the patients having hepatitis C infection alone. Methods: We studied 207 patients diagnosed as having chronic hepatitis C, with HCVAb and HCV-RNA, to detect HBsAg, HBcAb and HBV-DNA. HBsAg and HBcAb were detected by commercially available ELISA kits. HBV-DNA was evaluated using PCR methods and liver enzymes (ALT and AST) were measured by automated instruments. Results: Twenty three of the 207 patients (11.1%) were positive for HBV-DNA (coinfection). Of these 23 patients, 17 were HBsAg negative. Twenty six of the HCV infected patients were HBcAb positive of whom 21 had coinfection. This finding showed the significant prevalence of coinfection that many of these subjects may not be found by routine serological methods. Biochemical parameters showed no significant differences between the two groups. Conclusion: Coinfection of HBV and HCV occurs frequently. Detection of this form of infection can significantly affect the management and the treatment of these patients.Iran J Med Sci 2006; 31(3): 156-158. Keywords ● HBV ● HCV ● Coinfection ● prevalence ● PCR