Hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV-DNA) in anti-HBe positive sera
Version of Record online: 10 DEC 2008
© 1984 Blackwell Munksgaard
Volume 4, Issue 3, pages 177–183, June 1984
How to Cite
Negro, F., Chiaberge, E., Oliviero, S., Hammer, M., Berninger, M., Canese, M. G. and Bonino, F. (1984), Hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV-DNA) in anti-HBe positive sera. Liver, 4: 177–183. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1984.tb00925.x
- Issue online: 10 DEC 2008
- Version of Record online: 10 DEC 2008
- Accepted for publication 28 December 1983
- chronic hepatitis;
- hepatitis B virus
ABSTRACT— HBV-DNA measured by the spot hybridization technique, was found in the sera of 28 of 106 (26.4%) anti-HBe positive carriers of HBsAg. Dane particle-associated HBeAg, HBcAg and HBV-specific DNA-polymerase activity were found in the sera of nine (8.5%), five (4.7%) and two (1.9%) of these patients, respectively. All carriers with serum HBV-DNA had chronic liver disease and 18 had intrahepatic δ-Ag and serum anti-δ at titers higher than 1/5000. Intrahepatic HBcAg was detected in the nuclei of 90% of delta negative individuals; 50% of them also had cytoplasmic fluorescence. Only two of the 18 patients with intrahepatic δ-Ag (11%) had HBcAg in the liver.
Viral nucleic acid was not found in the sera of 15 other patients with chronic hepatitis, seven of whom had intrahepatic δ-Ag. Serum HBV-DNA was also negative in the remaining 63 symptomless carriers of HBsAg lacking markers of delta infection.
Interestingly, although DNA-polymerase negative, some sera gave autoradiographic spots of high optical density. HBV-DNA was detected in them at concentrations typical of sera which are usually both DNA-polymerase and HBeAg positive. Detection of HBV-DNA in serum represents the most direct and sensitive in vitro assay for assessing HBV infectivity and characterizes HBsAg carriers with HBV-related liver damage and ongoing HBV replication independently from the state of HBeAg/anti-HBe system. In the Mediterranean area, the majority of anti-HBe positive carriers with serum HBV-DNA have chronic liver disease and delta infection.