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.
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
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