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Keywords:

  • HBV;
  • anti-HBe;
  • IgG subclass;
  • ELISA;
  • ALT;
  • AST

Abstract

Fourteen serum samples obtained from hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronic carriers and patients recovered from hepatitis B infection were used with four sodium dodecyl sulfate-treated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) plates available commercially, and one self-prepared HBcAg analog for evaluation of anti-HBe subclass pattern absorbance. The self-prepared plates had the best performance and were thus used for samples obtained from 104 (60 male and 44 female) HBV chronic carriers and 439 (247 male and 192 female) recovered individuals. Tests for aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were also carried out in 21 of the subjects (>25 IU/ml). Statistical comparison of these patients with elevated ALT/AST levels with other ALT/AST-normal chronic carriers revealed no significant differences in the anti-HBe OD, although the mean optical density (OD) of patients with elevated ALT/AST levels was higher. The results suggest that the anti-HBe IgG subclass profiles in the chronic carriers did not change with inflammation of the liver, and were independent of sex and age. In contrast to previous anti-HBc findings, the distribution pattern of anti-HBe subclasses in HBV chronic carriers was IgG1 > IgG4 > IgG3 while in the recovered individuals it was IgG1 > IgG3 > IgG4, for both males and females. Subclasses IgG1 and IgG2 were the most and least prevalent isotypes, respectively, in both study groups. The results of the study suggest that induction of IgG1 and/or IgG3 antibodies is important for effective virus neutralization, while IgG2 antibodies are of limited importance. Significantly higher OD values for anti-HBe IgG4 were observed when comparing samples from the chronic carriers and recovered individuals, which may reflect the effects of persistence. Further, in contrast to previous anti-HBs results, the concentrations of total IgG and IgG1 were higher in the samples from chronic carriers relative to those from recovered individuals. J. Med. Virol. 79:495–502, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.