In order to determine the prevalence of multiple infections with hepatitis viruses in chronic HBsAg carriers in Naples, to assess the interaction between HBV, HDV and HCV infections and to evaluate the influence of multiple virus hepatitis infections on the clinical presentation, we studied 198 HBsAg chronic carriers observed consecutively from 1971 to 1988 at our Liver Unit. Of the 198 HBsAg chronic carriers, 171 had undergone percutaneous liver biopsy. The presence of HBcAg or HDAg in the liver biopsy was considered a marker of HBV or HDV replication, respectively; the presence of anti-HCV was considered a marker of HCV infection. Anti-HCV was observed in 13.6% of the 22 subjects with normal liver, in 27.7% of the 47 patients with minimal chronic hepatitis, in 40% of the 50 with mild chronic hepatitis, in 70.6% of the 17 with moderate hepatitis, in 66.7% of the 3 with severe chronic hepatitis and in 65.6% of the 32 with active cirrhosis. Anti-HCV positive cases were antiHD positive more frequently than the anti-HCV negative (59.2% vs. 43%, p=0.05). HDV infection exerted a clear inhibition on the HBV genome. Among the 171 HBsAg chronic carriers, the finding of an active chronic hepatitis (moderate chronic hepatitis+severe chronic hepatitis+active cirrhosis) is less frequent in subjects with HBV replication alone than in those with HDV replication or HCV infection. Patients with both HBV replication and HCV infection and those with both HDV replication and HCV infection showed a very high prevelance of active chronic hepatitis.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1997
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