The status of humoral immunity in occult HBV infection in south-eastern Iranian patients
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Background: Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is characterized as a form of hepatitis in which, despite of absence of detectable HBsAg, HBV-DNA is present in patient's peripheral blood. The aim of this study was to investigate components of humoral immunity during OBI as a possible measure of how patients respond to Hepatitis B viral infections. Material and methods: In this study, HBsAg-/anti-HBc+/HBV-DNA+ samples were assigned as OBI cases and SRID techniques were performed to measure levels of circulating antibodies (IgG, IgM and IgA) as well as C3, C4. In addition, complement system function was assessed by CH50. Results: Our results showed that the serum levels of IgG and C4 were significantly lower in OBI patients, while IgM and C3 were higher in patients when compared to healthy controls. Serum levels of IgA and CH50 were not significantly different between OBI patients and controls. Discussion: Based on these results, it could be concluded that although OBI patients produced elevated levels of IgM there may be a problem converting and progressing this response to generate enough IgG to overcome HBV infection.
Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology
© 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.