Persistence of hepatitis B virus DNA after serological clearance of hepatitis B virus


First Department of Pathology Nihon University School of Medicine 30 Ooyaguchi Kamimachi Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173 Japan


ABSTRACT— Using Southern blot technique, the state of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in liver tissue was investigated in 16 patients who were sero-negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) but positive for its antibody (anti-HBs). In only one case, was HBV DNA found in liver tissue in a heterogeneously integrated form. In this case, digestion with Taq I demonstrated integrated HBV DNA as two definite bands at 1.8 and 0.5 kbp. This suggests that HBV DNA in some cases persists even after HBV infection has been cleared serologically. It is possible that this persistence of HBV DNA plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis.