Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Occult hepatitis B in dialysis patients

08.11.2004


Prevalence is higher than standard tests for hepatitis B would suggest

Some kidney dialysis patients contract hepatitis B virus (HBV) during the course of their treatment, possibly from other members of the dialysis population with occult HBV. People with occult HBV test negative for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) but positive for HBV-DNA, which is detected through sensitive tests not typically performed on dialysis patients. A recent study found that the prevalence of occult HBV in adult hemodialysis patients is four to five times higher than standard HBsAg testing would suggest. These findings are published in the November 2004 issue of Hepatology. Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is available online via Wiley InterScience.

Previous studies that have looked for evidence of occult HBV in dialysis patients have found a wide range of infection rates – from 0 to 50 percent -- possibly due to the differences in the study populations. In this study, researchers, led by Dr. Gerald Y. Minuk of the University of Manitoba, sought to find the prevalence of occult HBV in a large North American population of adult dialysis patients and to determine if any demographic, biochemical and/or serologic feature could help identify those infected.



Between May and September of 2003, the researchers recruited hemodialysis patients in Winnipeg, Manitoba, an urban area in Canada with a population of about 680,000. They drew blood from and recorded demographic data for each of the 241 participants. They then performed liver biochemistry, HBV serology, and HBV-DNA testing by real-time polymerase chain reaction with two independent primer sets.

Only two of the participants tested positive for HBsAg, but an additional nine patients were found to have occult HBV, that is, they tested negative for HBsAg and positive for HBV-DNA. "The results of this study indicate that in this North American urban centre, the prevalence of occult HBV in adult hemodialysis patients is approximately 4 to 5 times higher than standard HBsAg testing would suggest," the authors report. The majority of the infections were associated with low viral loads and a surprisingly high prevalence of the sG145R-mutant.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, there were no obvious demographic, biochemical or serologic indicators for those with occult HBV. For the nine patients with occult HBV, the mean age was 61.4 years and 56 percent were male. Seventy-eight percent were Caucasian, and two were Southeast Asian. All had normal liver enzyme and function tests.

Occult HBV infection can be transmitted to others, according to available data involving chimpanzees, infants and transfusion and organ recipients. "Until data exist indicating whether nosocomial transmission of occult HBV can occur in susceptible dialysis patients and/or staff, screening with sensitive PCR-based assays of all dialysis patients for HBV-DNA regardless of demographic, biochemical or serologic findings seems prudent," the authors conclude.

If occult HBV status is known, transmission among dialysis patients might be limited by avoiding dialyzer reuse and dedicating dialysis rooms, machines and staff for infected patients. Vaccinations may also protect dialysis patients from contracting HBV, however, vaccination acceptance and response rates are low in this population of dialysis patients.

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>