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1.  Cohort study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk in association with hepatitis B virus infection in South Korea 
The lancet oncology  2010;11(9):827-834.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is common throughout Asia and Africa. Evidence is inconclusive regarding whether chronic HBV infection increases risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
We conducted a cohort study of 603,585 South Korean workers and their dependents enrolled during 1992–1995. Serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) measured at baseline indicated the presence of chronic HBV infection. We ascertained hematologic malignancies using national inpatient, outpatient, and mortality databases through 2006. Cox regression was used to evaluate associations with HBsAg status, adjusting for sex, age, and enrollment year.
53,045 subjects (8.8%) were HBsAg positive at baseline. Subsequently, 133 HBsAg positive and 905 HBsAg negative individuals developed NHL. HBsAg positive subjects had elevated risk of NHL overall (incidence 19.4 vs. 12.3 per 100,000 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.74, 95%CI 1.45–2.09). Among NHL subtypes, risk was significantly elevated in association with HBsAg positivity for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (N=325 cases; adjusted HR 2.01, 95%CI 1.48–2.75) and non-significantly elevated for follicular NHL (N=47; 1.67, 0.71–3.95) and T-cell NHL (N=75; 1.40, 0.67–2.92); risk was also elevated for other/unknown NHL subtypes (N=591; 1.65, 1.29–2.11). Elevated risk was also observed for malignant immunoproliferation (N=14; adjusted HR 3.79, 95%CI, 1.05–13.7), a category that includes Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Risk of these malignancies was consistently elevated in HBsAg positive subjects throughout 14 years of follow-up. HBsAg positivity was not associated with Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or various leukemias.
During extended follow-up, HBsAg positive individuals manifested an elevated risk of NHL, suggesting that chronic infection promotes lymphomagenesis.
PMCID: PMC2933963  PMID: 20688564
2.  microRNA levels in paraffin-embedded indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma tissues from patients chronically infected with hepatitis B or C virus 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(Suppl 5):S6.
Epidemiological evidence links Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) to B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). These B-NHLs, particularly those associated with HCV, may represent a distinct sub-group with peculiar molecular features, including peculiar expression of microRNAs (miRs).
The aim of the present study was to search for miRs whose level in indolent B-NHL tissues could be associated with HBV or HCV infection.
Fourteen formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues from HBV+, HCV+ and HBV-/HCV- indolent B-NHL patients were analyzed for levels of 34 selected miRs by quantitative Real-Time PCR. Reactive lymph nodes (RLNs) from HBV-/HCV- patients were included as non-tumor control. Statistical analysis of output data included Pearson and Spearman correlation and Mann-Whitney test and were carried out by the STATA software.
MiR-92a was decreased exclusively in HBV-/HCV- B-NHLs, while miR-30b was increased in HBV+ and HCV+ samples, though only the HCV+ achieved full statistical significance. Analysis of a small subset of B-NHLs belonging to the same histological subtype (Nodal Marginal Zone Lymphoma) highlighted three miRs associated with HCV infection (miR-223, miR-29a and miR-29b) and confirmed decreased level of miR-92a in HBV-/HCV- samples also when considering this restricted B-NHL group.
Although caution is needed due to the limited number of analyzed samples, overall the results suggest that differences at the miR expression level exist between indolent B-NHLs developed in patients with or without HBV or HCV infection. The identification of three further miRs associated with HCV by analyzing histologically homogeneous samples suggests that variations of miR levels possibly associated with HBV or HCV may be obscured by the tissue-specific variability of miR level associated with the different histological subtypes of B-NHL. Thus, the identification of further miRs will require, in addition to an increased sample size, the comparison of B-NHL tissues with the same histological classification.
PMCID: PMC4160900  PMID: 25236768
Lymphoma; Hepatitis B Virus; Hepatitis C Virus; microRNA; FFPE
3.  Concurrent Infection of Hepatitis B Virus Negatively Affects the Clinical Outcome and Prognosis of Patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after Chemotherapy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69400.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is hepatotropic and lymphotropic. HBV-infected individuals have an increased risk of developing malignant lymphoma, and the HBV infection rate in lymphoma patients is significantly higher than that in the general population. However, the exact mechanism and correlation between HBV infection and lymphoma onset and progression currently remain unclear. We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients with different HBV infection statuses. The results showed that the HBV infection rate was significantly higher in patients with B-cell type and late stage of NHL. The chemotherapy efficacy for NHL patients with chronic active HBV infection was significantly lower than that for the patients with chronic inactive HBV infection, the patients with HBV carriers and the patients without HBV infection. In addition, the NHL chemotherapy activated HBV replication and caused significant liver dysfunction, which could further reduce the chemotherapy efficacy. Through Kaplan-Meier survival curve and log-rank analysis, we found that the HBV infection status in NHL patients was significantly correlated with the patients’ progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Compared with the patients without HBV infection (PFS: 95% CI 47.915 to 55.640; OS: 95% CI 81.324 to 86.858), the PFS and OS of the patients with chronic active HBV infection were significantly shorter (PFS: 95% CI 9.424 to 42.589, P < 0.001; OS: 95% CI 42.840 to 82.259, P = 0.006). The study demonstrated that the sustained HBV replication in patients with chronic active HBV infection could be a key factor that influences the prognosis of NHL patients after chemotherapy, and thus may provide information for designing rational clinical treatments for NHL patients with different HBV infection statuses and improve the treatment efficacy and prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3704665  PMID: 23861969
4.  Long-term Outcome after Prophylactic Lamivudine Treatment on Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2007;48(1):78-89.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation is the frequent complication after cytotoxic chemotherapy in HBsAg-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients. Pre-chemotherapy viral load may be a risk factor and HBeAg-positive status is associated with increased viral load. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term treatment outcome of lamivudine in preventing HBV reactivation and its associated morbidity according to HBeAg status. Twenty-four adult HBsAg-positive NHL patients were taken 100 mg of lamivudine daily before the initiation of chemotherapy. The median duration of lamivudine therapy was 11.5 months (range: 1-54 months) and the median number of chemotherapy cycles was 6 (range: 1-16 cycles). The steroid containing chemotherapy regimens were used in 18 patients (75%), and the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody containing chemotherapy regimen was used in 6 patients (25%). Four patients received autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation without resultant HBV reactivation. Hepatitis related to HBV reactivation was developed in 1 patient among 14 HBeAg-positive patients and no one among 10 HBeAg-negative. One patient developed HBV reactivation after lamivudine withdrawal, and 4 patients developed the YMDD (tyrosine-methionine-aspartate-aspartate) mutation during lamivudine therapy. There were no statistical differences in HBV reactivation rate during chemotherapy according to the HBeAg status. Our results demonstrate that lamivudine should be considered preemptively before the chemotherapy for all HBsAg-positive NHL patients to prevent HBV reactivation, regardless of pre-chemotherapy HBeAg status. Finally, compared with the chronic hepatitis B patients, similar rate of HBV reactivation after lamivudine withdrawal and development of YMDD mutation was observed in NHL patients.
PMCID: PMC2627995  PMID: 17326249
HBV reactivation; lamivudine; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; chemotherapy; HBeAg
5.  Efficacy of Neonatal HBV Vaccination on Liver Cancer and Other Liver Diseases over 30-Year Follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001774.
In a 30-year follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study, Yawei Zhang and colleagues examine the effects of neonatal vaccination on liver diseases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Neonatal hepatitis B vaccination has been implemented worldwide to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. Its long-term protective efficacy on primary liver cancer (PLC) and other liver diseases has not been fully examined.
Methods and Findings
The Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study, a population-based, cluster randomized, controlled trial between 1985 and 1990 in Qidong, China, included 39,292 newborns who were randomly assigned to the vaccination group in which 38,366 participants completed the HBV vaccination series and 34,441 newborns who were randomly assigned to the control group in which the participants received neither a vaccine nor a placebo. However, 23,368 (67.8%) participants in the control group received catch-up vaccination at age 10–14 years. By December 2013, a total of 3,895 (10.2%) in the vaccination group and 3,898 (11.3%) in the control group were lost to follow-up. Information on PLC incidence and liver disease mortality were collected through linkage of all remaining cohort members to a well-established population-based tumor registry until December 31, 2013. Two cross-sectional surveys on HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) seroprevalence were conducted in 1996–2000 and 2008–2012. The participation rates of the two surveys were 57.5% (21,770) and 50.7% (17,204) in the vaccination group and 36.3% (12,184) and 58.6% (17,395) in the control group, respectively. Using intention-to-treat analysis, we found that the incidence rate of PLC and the mortality rates of severe end-stage liver diseases and infant fulminant hepatitis were significantly lower in the vaccination group than the control group with efficacies of 84% (95% CI 23%–97%), 70% (95% CI 15%–89%), and 69% (95% CI 34%–85%), respectively. The estimated efficacy of catch-up vaccination on HBsAg seroprevalence in early adulthood was 21% (95% CI 10%–30%), substantially weaker than that of the neonatal vaccination (72%, 95% CI 68%–75%). Receiving a booster at age 10–14 years decreased HBsAg seroprevalence if participants were born to HBsAg-positive mothers (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.68, 95% CI 0.47–0.97). Limitations to consider in interpreting the study results include the small number of individuals with PLC, participants lost to follow-up, and the large proportion of participants who did not provide serum samples at follow-up.
Neonatal HBV vaccination was found to significantly decrease HBsAg seroprevalence in childhood through young adulthood and subsequently reduce the risk of PLC and other liver diseases in young adults in rural China. The findings underscore the importance of neonatal HBV vaccination. Our results also suggest that an adolescence booster should be considered in individuals born to HBsAg-positive mothers and who have completed the HBV neonatal vaccination series.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Hepatitis B is a life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV, which is transmitted through contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, can cause both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver infections. Acute infections rarely cause any symptoms and more than 90% of adults who become infected with HBV (usually through sexual intercourse with an infected partner or through the use of contaminated needles) are virus-free within 6 months. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and other regions where HBV infection is common, HBV is usually transmitted from mother to child at birth or between individuals during early childhood and, unfortunately, most infants who are infected with HBV during the first year of life and many children who are infected before the age of 6 years develop a chronic HBV infection. Such infections can cause liver cancer, liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), and other fatal liver diseases. In addition, HBV infection around the time of birth can cause infant fulminant hepatitis, a rare but frequently fatal condition.
Why Was This Study Done?
HBV infections kill about 780,000 people worldwide annually but can be prevented by neonatal vaccination—immunization against HBV at birth. A vaccine against HBV became available in 1982 and many countries now include HBV vaccination at birth followed by additional vaccine doses during early childhood in their national vaccination programs. But, although HBV vaccination has greatly reduced the rate of chronic HBV infection, the protective efficacy of neonatal HBV vaccination against liver diseases has not been fully examined. Here, the researchers investigate how well neonatal HBV vaccination protects against primary liver cancer and other liver diseases by undertaking a 30-year follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B intervention Study (QHBIS). This cluster randomized controlled trial of neonatal HBV vaccination was conducted between 1983 and 1990 in Qidong County, a rural area in China with a high incidence of HBV-related primary liver cancer and other liver diseases. A cluster randomized controlled trial compares outcomes in groups of people (towns in this study) chosen at random to receive an intervention or a control treatment (here, vaccination or no vaccination; this study design was ethically acceptable during the 1980s when HBV vaccination was unavailable in rural China but would be unethical nowadays).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The QHBIS assigned nearly 80,000 newborns to receive either a full course of HBV vaccinations (the vaccination group) or no vaccination (the control group); two-thirds of the control group participants received a catch-up vaccination at age 10–14 years. The researchers obtained data on how many trial participants developed primary liver cancer or died from a liver disease during the follow-up period from a population-based tumor registry. They also obtained information on HBsAg seroprevalence—the presence of HBsAg (an HBV surface protein) in the blood of the participants, an indicator of current HBV infection—from surveys undertaken in1996–2000 and 2008–2012. The researchers estimate that the protective efficacy of vaccination was 84% for primary liver cancer (vaccination reduced the incidence of liver cancer by 84%), 70% for death from liver diseases, and 69% for the incidence of infant fulminant hepatitis. Overall, the efficacy of catch-up vaccination on HBsAg seroprevalence in early adulthood was weak compared with neonatal vaccination (21% versus 72%). Notably, receiving a booster vaccination at age 10–14 years decreased HBsAg seroprevalence among participants who were born to HBsAg-positive mothers.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The small number of cases of primary liver cancer and other liver diseases observed during the 30-year follow-up, the length of follow-up, and the availability of incomplete data on seroprevalence all limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings indicate that neonatal HBV vaccination greatly reduced HBsAg seroprevalence (an indicator of current HBV infection) in childhood and young adulthood and subsequently reduced the risk of liver cancer and other liver diseases in young adults. These findings therefore support the importance of neonatal HBV vaccination. In addition, they suggest that booster vaccination during adolescence might consolidate the efficacy of neonatal vaccination among individuals who were born to HBsAg-positive mothers, a suggestion that needs to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials before booster vaccines are introduced into vaccination programs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization provides a fact sheet about hepatitis B (available in several languages) and information about hepatitis B vaccination
The World Hepatitis Alliance (an international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization) provides information about viral hepatitis, including some personal stories about hepatitis B from Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Malawi
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about hepatitis B
The not-for-profit British Liver Trust provides information about hepatitis B, including Hepatitis B: PATH B, an interactive educational resource designed to improve the lives of people living with chronic hepatitis B
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about hepatitis B (in English and Spanish)
Information about the Qidong Hepatitis B intervention Study is available
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides links about hepatitis B prevention in Chinese
PMCID: PMC4280122  PMID: 25549238
6.  Correlations of hematological parameters with bone marrow findings in chronic lymphoproliferative disorders associated with hepatitis viruses 
Journal of Medicine and Life  2013;6(4):464-471.
Background. Hepatitis B and C viruses’ infections are often associated with hematological disorders in evolution, suggesting that these viruses have a tropism for peripheral blood and/or bone marrow cells.
Aim. To analyze the hematological parameters and bone marrow findings in a group of patients diagnosed with chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (CLD) and hepatitis viruses B, C, D infections, which were included in the research grant (acronym LIMFO-VIR) between December 2007 and May 2010 in the Hematology Department of the Emergency University Hospital of Bucharest.
Methods and results. Patients were diagnosed by using immunopathology according to the WHO criteria. The analyzed group included 42 patients (both sexes), with the mean age of 60,35 years. The most frequent hematologic disease was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 30/42 (71,42%), followed by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (16,66%) and Hodgkin’s lymphoma (7,14%). Hepatitis viruses were distributed: 17/42 (40,47%) patients with HBV, 22/42 (52,38%) with HCV and 3/42 (7,14%) had a double/triple association of viruses. Most of the patients had an indolent type of disease - 27/42 (64,28%), whereas 15/42 (35,71%) had an aggressive one, pattern found both in the HBV and HCV infected groups. An abnormal bone marrow result was revealed in 32/42 (76,19%) patients, 19 (59,37%) of them being HCV infected. Myelodysplasia was found in 6/42(14,28%) patients, the majority being HCV infected, all having an indolent form of CLD. The antiviral therapy did not influence the hematological parameters (no significant differences were found between the groups with/without an antiviral therapy).
Discussions. Patients with hepatitis virus infections may associate neutropenia and thrombocytopenia; the mechanisms are thought to involve hypersplenism, autoimmune processes and antiviral therapy. We excluded the influence of chemotherapy, as the study was performed before the treatment. In our group, patients whether HBV or HCV infected, presented an isolated cytopenia. The abnormal bone marrow cellularity (increased or decreased) and dysplasia were found especially in the HCV group. There are studies showing no association between myelodysplasia and hepatitis viruses; others found a strong relation of these. One of the mechanisms of myelodysplasia could be a dysregulation of the immune system.
Conclusions. Bone marrow/peripheral blood features correlate with the type of viral infection and HCV is more prone to develop additional hematological changes than HBV. The degree of bone marrow involvement by CLDs influences these features. We considered mandatory to perform a bone marrow analysis at the diagnosis of CLDs to stage and to establish if other bone marrow changes were present, a crucial aspect for therapy and outcome of the disease. The association between the hepatitis viruses – myelodysplasia- autoimmunity seems to have a role in the lymphoproliferative disorders etiology.
Abbreviations: CLD – chronic lymphoproliferative disorders; NHL- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, CLL- chronic lymphocytic leukemia, HL- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, MDS – myelodysplastic syndrome, AML – acute myeloid leukemia
PMCID: PMC4034312  PMID: 24868264
hepatitis viruses; chronic lymphoproliferative disorders; myelodysplasia; cytopenia
7.  Hepatitis B surface antigen seroconversion after HBV reactivation in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 
Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) can occur in lymphoma patients infected with HBV when they receive chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Prophylactic administration of lamivudine (LAM) reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with HBV reactivation. However, what defines HBV reactivation and the optimal duration of treatment with LAM have not yet been clearly established. HBV reactivation may occur due to the cessation of prophylactic LAM, although re-treatment with nucleoside analogs may sometimes result in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroconversion, which is a satisfactory endpoint for the management of HBV infection. We report a case of HBV reactivation in a 68-year-old HBsAg-positive patient who received rituximab-based immunochemotherapy for follicular lymphoma. HBV reactivation developed following cessation of prophylactic LAM therapy. The patient subsequently received treatment with entecavir (ETV), which led to a rapid and sustained suppression of HBV replication and HBsAg seroconversion. We also appraised the literature concerning HBV reactivation and the role of ETV in the management of HBV reactivation in lymphoma patients. A total of 28 cases of HBV reactivation have been reported as having been treated with ETV during or after immunosuppressive chemotherapy in lymphoma patients. We conclude that ETV is an efficacious and safe treatment for HBV reactivation following LAM cessation in lymphoma patients treated with rituximab-based immunochemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4009558  PMID: 24803836
Hepatitis B surface antigen; Seroconversion; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Rituximab; Entecavir
8.  Assessment of hepatitis B immunization status after antineoplastic therapy in children with cancer 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2011;31(6):573-576.
Hepatitis B is a disease that is preventable with vaccination. Antibody levels after vaccination may be affected by suppression of the immune system due to cancer therapy. Children with cancer have a high risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We aimed to assess the pretreatment immunization status against HBV infection and the rate of continuity of immunization after therapy in children with cancer.
Retrospective case review of patients treated from 2004 to 2008.
We reviewed the medical records of patients treated in the departments of pediatric hematology and oncology and collected data on immunization history and hepatitis B serology. Anti-HBs antibody titers were compared before and after treatment.
This study included 159 (99 males, 60 females) children who had a serologic examination. Antineoplastic therapy had been given for acute leukemia (n=66), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n=27), Hodgkin lymphoma (n=20), and solid tumors (n=46). Fifty-one patients had not been immunized against HBV prior to the therapy; HBV serology was negative in 49 of these patients and HBsAg was positive in 2 patients. Anti-HBs antibody positivity was present in 99 of 108 patients with an immunization history, whereas no vaccination response was present in 9 patients. The titer of anti-HBs antibody was decreased below the protection level in 33 (33%) patients with positive anti-HBs antibody, whereas the protection level was found to be maintained in 66 (67%) patients. The most significant decrease (63.6%) was observed in leukemia patients. Posttreatment HBsAg and HBV DNA positivity was detected in two of the patients with negative pretreatment serology, whereas no HBV infection developed in the group with positive anti-HBs antibody.
This study demonstrated the importance of routine childhood vaccination in reducing the risk of HBV infection in patients with cancer.
PMCID: PMC3221126  PMID: 22048500
9.  Hepatitis C virus and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: findings from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;95(11):1598-1602.
Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, possibly, hepatitis B virus (HBV) are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in the general population, but little information is available on the relationship between hepatitis viruses and NHL among people with HIV (PHIV). We conducted a matched case–control study nested in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS). Two hundred and ninety-eight NHL cases and 889 control subjects were matched by SHCS centre, gender, age group, CD4+ count at enrolment, and length of follow-up. Odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed using logistic regression to evaluate the association between NHL and seropositivity for antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV) and hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Anti-HCV was not associated with increased NHL risk overall (OR=1.05; 95% CI: 0.63–1.75), or in different strata of CD4+ count, age or gender. Only among men having sex with men was an association with anti-HCV found (OR=2.37; 95% CI: 1.03–5.43). No relationships between NHL risk and anti-HBc or HBsAg emerged. Coinfection with HIV and HCV or HBV did not increase NHL risk compared to HIV alone in the SHCS.
PMCID: PMC2360727  PMID: 17106439
hepatitis C virus; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; HIV; Switzerland
10.  High Seroprevalence of HBV and HCV Infection in HIV-Infected Adults in Kigali, Rwanda 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63303.
Data on prevalence and incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Rwanda are scarce.
HBV status was assessed at baseline and Month 12, and anti-HCV antibodies at baseline, in a prospective cohort study of HIV-infected patients in Kigali, Rwanda: 104 men and 114 women initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) at baseline, and 200 women not yet eligible for ART.
Baseline prevalence of active HBV infection (HBsAg positive), past or occult HBV infection (anti-HBc positive and HBsAg negative) and anti-HCV was 5.2%, 42.9%, and 5.7%, respectively. The active HBV incidence rate was 4.2/1,000 person years (PY). In a multivariable logistic regression model using baseline data, participants with WHO stage 3 or 4 HIV disease were 4.19 times (95% CI 1.21–14.47) more likely to have active HBV infection, and older patients were more likely to have evidence of past exposure to HBV (aRR 1.03 per year; 95%CI 1.01–1.06). Older age was also positively associated with having anti-HCV antibodies (aOR 1.09; 95%CI 1.04–1.14) while having a higher baseline HIV viral load was negatively associated with HCV (aOR 0.60; 95% CI 0.40–0.98). The median CD4 increase during the first 12 months of ART was lower for those with active HBV infection or anti-HCV at baseline. Almost all participants (88%) with active HBV infection who were on ART were receiving lamivudine monotherapy for HBV.
HBV and HCV are common in HIV-infected patients in Rwanda. Regular HBsAg screening is needed to ensure that HIV-HBV co-infected patients receive an HBV-active ART regimen, and the prevalence of occult HBV infection should be determined. Improved access to HBV vaccination is recommended. Active HCV prevalence and incidence should be investigated further to determine whether HCV RNA PCR testing should be introduced in Rwanda.
PMCID: PMC3661584  PMID: 23717409
11.  The prophylactic use of lamivudine can maintain dose-intensity of adriamycin in hepatitis-B surface antigen (HBs Ag)-positive patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who receive cytotoxic chemotherapy. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2003;18(6):849-854.
We investigated the effectiveness of lamivudine to prevent hepatitis flare up due to reactivation of hepatitis-B virus (HBV) in hepatitis-B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) during cytotoxic chemotherapy. HBsAg-positive patients with NHL were identified from the lymphoma database of the Asan Medical Center from January 1995 to August 2002, and their medical records were reviewed. We found that 31 patients were received cytotoxic chemotherapy among 41 NHL patients with HBsAg-positive during same period. We divided them into 2 groups of HBsAg patients with NHL as follows: Group A who received cytotoxic chemotherapy with lamivudine 100 mg daily; Group B without any prophylactic antiviral therapy. There were no significant differences between Group A and B in several clinical variables. Seventeen patients (85%) in group B and one patient (9%) in Group A had hepatitis due to reactivation of HBV (p<0.001), with one hepatic failure related death in Group B and none in group A. The mean dose intensity of adriamycin actually delivered was 13.3 mg/m2/week (80% Relative Dose intensity (RDI)) in Group A and 9.1 mg/m2/week (55% RDI) in Groups B (p<0.001). Our data suggest that the frequency of chemotherapy-related HBV reactivation may be significantly decreased by lamivudine prophylaxis with maintenance of the dosage of adriamycin.
PMCID: PMC3055150  PMID: 14676442
12.  HBV serum and renal biopsy markers are associated with the clinicopathological characteristics of HBV-associated nephropathy 
Background: Accumulated evidence has shown that hepatitis B virus infection is associated with numerous types of nephropathy but it remains to clarify the different role of HBV markers, either in serum or deposit in kidney, in the pathogenesis of HBV-associated nephropathy. In this study, we investigated the relationship between HBV markers and HBV-associated nephropathy by using multi-linear regression in Chinese patients with HBV-associated membranous nephropathy (MN). Methods: A total of 196 cases of HBV-associated MN, which were diagnosed based on renal biopsy, were collected during the period of January 2000 to December 2009 from our hospital. Serum and renal biopsy HBV markers included HBsAg, anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe, and anti-HBC. HBV-associated nephropathy was characterized by a panel of clinical manifestations and pathological parameters, which included proteinuria, hematuria, serum creatinine, hypertension, and renal damage in glomeruli, tubules, interstitium, and blood vessels. Multilinear regression was used to analyze the relationship between the HBV markers in serum and renal biopsy and the clinicopathological characteristics of HBV-associated nephropathy. Results: After analysis of the clinical and pathological data in 196 cases of HBV-associated membranous nephropathy, this study revealed that glomerular lesion was marginally associated with serum HBsAg (P = 0.0528), Anti-HBs (P = 0.0978), but significantly associated with the presence of IgA (P = 0.0242), IgG (P < 0.0001) and C3 (P = 0.0064) in renal biopsy. There was no significant association between glomerular lesion and HBV markers in kidney. The presence of crescent and renal tube impairment was not related to HBV markers. The renal fibrosis was significantly related to gender (P = 0.023), age (P = 0.0211), HBsAg (P = 0.0001) and HBcAg (P = 0.0083) and C3 (P = 0.0299) in renal biopsy. Notably, the renal blood vessel impairment was significantly related to systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) (P < 0.0001), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (P = 0.0002), serum HBsAg (P = 0.0428), serum HBeAg (P = 0.0766), FRA (P = 0.0002), and HBsAg (P = 0.0241) and HBcAg (P = 0.0599) in renal tissues. Also, the renal interstitial infiltration was related to patient age (P = 0.015, SBP (P < 0.0001), DBP (P = 0.0001), C3 (P = 0.0028), FRA (P = 0.0165), HBsAg (P = 0.0016) and HBcAg (P = 0.0203) in kidney biopsy. These results suggest that the major pathological changes in kidneys in HBV patients are related to one or more HBV markers, such as HBsAg, HBeAg, or anti-HBs antibody. Besides, most of the pathological changes in kidneys are related to C3 and FRA in kidney tissues. The clinical markers of nephropathy, such as proteinuria, hematuria and creatine serum levels, were also evaluated for their relationship with HBV markers in serum and kidney tissues. We found proteinuria was marginally related to HBV DNA (P = 0.0537), significantly related to IgA (0.0223). Hematouria was significantly related to IgA (P = 0.0434), IgG (P < 0.0001), and C1q (P = 0.0282). The serum creatine level was related to patient gender (P = 0.0077), SBP (P < 0.0001), DBP (0.0049), IgG (P-0.0006), and C3 (P = 0.0113). These clinical manifestations were not related to HBV markers in either serum or kidney. These results indicate that some of clinical manifestations of nephropathy are related to HBV markers, but the relationship is limited.
PMCID: PMC4270632  PMID: 25550864
Hepatitis B virus; serum markers; nephropathy
13.  Coexistence of Hepatitis B Virus Quasispecies Enhances Viral Replication and the Ability To Induce Host Antibody and Cellular Immune Responses 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(15):8656-8666.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) quasispecies contain a large number of variants that serve as a reservoir for viral selection under antiviral treatment and the immune response, leading to the acute exacerbation and subsequent development of liver failure. However, there is no clear experimental evidence for a significant role of HBV quasispecies in viral pathogenesis. In the present study, HBV sequences were amplified from a patient with severe liver disease and used for construction of HBV replication-competent plasmids. Western blotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and immunofluorescence staining were performed to analyze the expression, secretion, and subcellular localization of viral proteins in vitro. Viral replication intermediates were detected by Southern blotting. HBV gene expression and replication and the induction of specific immune responses in an HBV hydrodynamic injection (HI) mouse model were investigated. The results demonstrated that two naturally occurring HBV variants, SH and SH-DPS, were identified. The variant SH-DPS expressed only a nonexportable hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) with abnormal intracellular accumulation. The coexistence of the HBV variants at a ratio of 1 to 4 (SH to SH-DPS) increased HBV replication. Significantly stronger intrahepatic cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses and antibody responses specific to HBsAg were induced in mice by the HBV variants when coapplied by HI. These findings uncovered an unexpected aspect of HBV quasispecies: the coexistence of different variants can significantly modulate specific host immune responses, representing a novel mechanism for the immunopathogenesis of HBV infection.
IMPORTANCE Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an important human pathogen. HBV quasispecies with genetically heterogenous variants are thought to play a role in the progression of HBV-associated liver diseases. So far, direct evidence is available in only a few cases to confirm the proposed role of HBV variants in the pathogenesis. We report here that the coexistence of two naturally occurring HBV variants at a ratio of 1 to 4 increased HBV replication and induced significantly stronger intrahepatic cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses and antibody responses specific to HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) in mice. Our discovery uncovered an unexpected aspect of HBV quasispecies: the coexistence of different variants can significantly modulate specific host immune responses and may enhance immune-mediated liver damage under some circumstances, representing a novel mechanism for the immunopathogenesis of HBV infection.
PMCID: PMC4135971  PMID: 24850745
14.  Immunological mechanisms of hepatitis B virus persistence in newborns 
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects millions of people worldwide and about a half million people die every year. India represents the second largest pool of chronic HBV infection worldwide with an estimated 40 million infected people. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection in pregnant women is shown to be 0.82 per cent with the risk of mother-to-child vertical transmission. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positivity indicates replicative form of HBV which may play a role in immunotolerance in utero by crossing the placenta. In case of HBeAg positivity and high viral load of mother, HBV immunoglobulin is preferably given along with HBV vaccination. Antiviral therapy is recommended for use in the third trimester of pregnancy to reduce the perinatal transmission of HBV, however, use of antiviral therapy should be individualized during pregnancy. Chronic HBV infection in neonates is linked with strong presence of Tregs (T regulatory cells) and defective CD8 T cells pool to produce interferon (IFN)-γ. T cell receptor (TCRζ) chain defects were also associated with decreased CD8 T cell dysfunction. Decreased TCRζ expression could be due to persistent intrauterine exposure of the viral antigens early in embryonic development leading to immune tolerance to HBV antigens in the newborns positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg+ve). Therefore, due to HBV infection, T cell tolerance to HBV-antigen may probably leave the newborn as a chronic carrier. However, HBV vaccination may have benefits in restoring acquired immunity and better production of HBV specific antibodies.
PMCID: PMC3928700  PMID: 24434322
Chronic infection; HbeAg; HbsAg; hepatitis B virus (HBV); perinatal; pregnancy
15.  Testing for hepatitis B infection in prospective chemotherapy patients: A retrospective study 
AIM: To estimate hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection testing rate in cancer patients before chemotherapy with a focus on HBV reactivation.
METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted from January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Inclusion required that patients be naïve to cancer chemotherapy but have indications for it. Patients who did not receive chemotherapy for any reason were excluded. Important clinical information, such as the levels of HBV DNA and serological markers were collected. HBV reactivation was defined as an increase in serum HBV DNA to > 1 log higher than that of the pre-exacerbation baseline, or serum HBV DNA conversion from negative to positive. HBV DNA levels > 1000 copies/mL were defined as HBV DNA positive. The χ2 or Fisher’s exact test was used for analysis of categorized data. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odd ratio and 95%CI of the HBV screening rate.
RESULTS: Of 6646 patients, 5616 (84.5%) received chemotherapy. Only 17.1% of the cancer patients received pre-chemotherapy HBV testing (43.2% for hematological malignancies and 14.9% for solid tumors). Patients who had received rituximab therapy, had elevated aminotransferase levels, or had hematological malignancies were more likely to receive HBV testing. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity was 13.4%. HBV reactivation (appearance of HBV DNA or an increase in HBV DNA levels by 1 log10) was observed in 33.1% (53/160) of the patients after chemotherapy. Among patients without prophylactic antiviral therapy, the reactivation rate was 43.9% (43/98) in the solid tumor group. Two reactivation cases occurred in patients who were HBsAg negative, but positive for hepatitis B core antibody. HBV reactivation was more likely to occur in patients with lymphoma, high levels of HBV DNA, or hepatitis B e antigen, and in men.
CONCLUSION: Less than 20% of patients received HBV testing before chemotherapy. HBV reactivation would have occurred in about 50% of infected patients with solid tumors without antiviral prophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC3574891  PMID: 23429298
Chemotherapy; Hematologic malignancy; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B virus reactivation; Solid tumor
16.  Hepatitis B Virus infection in HIV-positive population in Brazil: results of a survey in the state of Mato Grosso and a comparative analysis with other regions of Brazil 
End-stage liver disease is currently a major concern among HIV-positive individuals due to co-infection with hepatotropic virus. Hepatitis C has been pointed out as a remarkable factor for that. More recently, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has also been found to play a role on liver disease in this population. HIV-HBV co-infection prevalence remains largely unknown in vast areas of Brazil. The objective of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of HBV and HDV infection in HIV-infected subjects living in the state of Mato Grosso, in the Central region of Brazil, and compare it to other Brazilian studies. We also assess epidemiologic data regarding risk factors and vaccinal status.
HIV-positive individuals followed at the Central Laboratory of the Department of Public Health of Mato Grosso in the city of Cuiabá composed the sample. Participants answered a specific questionnaire and had a blood sample taken and tested for serologic markers.
A thousand individuals were interviewed and tested for HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HDV if positive for HBsAg. Measurements of CD4 and viral load for HIV-1 were also performed. Overall prevalence of HBV exposure (anti-HBc +ve) was 40.0%, and 3.7% for HBsAg. This prevalence data was similar or slightly lower than for other Brazilian regions, which ranged from 40% and 3% to 71% and 24%, respectively. Testing for anti-HDV in the 37 HBsAg positive patients was positive in only one subject. Factors that showed independent association with HBV exposure, after adjustment, were: male gender, older age groups, tattooing, and reporting more than ten sexual partners throughout life (p < 0.01). Eighty-one (27.5%) out of 291 HBV-unexposed individuals who reported vaccination were anti-HBs positive. Anti-HBs prevalence was higher among those who had higher levels of CD4 by multivariate analysis.
Our data showed HBV infection prevalence similar or slightly lower than that reported in other regions of Brazil. In addition, our data revealed a less important role for drug injection in the spread of HIV and HBV in Mato Grosso compared to other regions of the country. The high rate of non-vaccinated subjects among this HBV-unexposed, HIV-infected population is a matter of considerable health concern in this region. The relationship between CD4 levels and HBV vaccine response found in the present study reinforces the need of keeping health care workers alert to this issue.
PMCID: PMC1421409  PMID: 16504137
17.  Risk stratification of HBV infection in Asia-Pacific region 
Clinical and Molecular Hepatology  2014;20(3):223-227.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the major etiology of chronic liver disease worldwide and thus a global health problem, especially in Asia-Pacific region. The long-term outcomes of Asian HBV carriers vary widely; however, a significant proportion of them will finally develop end-stage liver disease. Over the past decade, several host and HBV factors predictive of clinical outcomes in Asian HBV carriers have been identified. The community-based REVEAL-HBV study illustrated the strong association between HBV-DNA level at study entry and risk of HCC over time, and male gender, older age, high serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, positive HBeAg, higher HBV-DNA level, HBV genotype C infection and core promoter mutation are independently associated with a higher hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk. Another hospital-based ERADICATE-B cohort further validated the HCC risk started to increase when HBV-DNA level was higher than 2,000 IU/mL. Of particular note, in patients with low viral load (HBV-DNA level <2,000 IU/mL), HBsAg level ≥1,000 IU/mL was a new independent risk factor for HCC. With the results from REVEAL-HBV study, a risk calculator for predicting HCC in adult non-cirrhotic patients has been developed and validated by independent international cohorts (REACH-B). With the combination of HBV-DNA, HBsAg, and ALT levels, ERADICATE-B study proposed an algorithm to predict disease progression and categorize risk levels of HCC as well as corresponding management in Asian HBV carriers. The introduction of transient elastography may further enhance the predictive power. In conclusion, HBsAg level can complement HBV-DNA level for the risk stratification of disease progression in Asian adult patients with chronic HBV infection.
PMCID: PMC4197169  PMID: 25320724
Hepatitis B virus (HBV); Hepatocellular carcinoma; HBV-DNA; HBsAg; Risk stratification
18.  The association between maternal hepatitis B e antigen status, as a proxy for perinatal transmission, and the risk of hepatitis B e antigenaemia in Gambian children 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:532.
Early age at infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) increases the risk of chronic HBV infection. In addition early age at infection may further increase the risk of persistent viral replication beyond its effect on chronicity. The effects of perinatal and early postnatal transmission on the risk of prolonged hepatitis B e antigenaemia in children with chronic HBV infection are not well documented in Africa. We examine these associations using maternal HBV sero-status and the number of HBV-positive older siblings as proxy measures for perinatal and early postnatal transmission, respectively.
Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers were identified in six population-based HBV sero-surveys conducted in The Gambia between 1986 and 1990. For every HBeAg-positive mother, a hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive HBeAg-negative mother and HBsAg-negative mother were randomly selected from the population surveyed. These mothers and their family members were tested for HBV sero-markers in a subsequent survey conducted between 1991 and 1993.
Thirty-eight HBeAg positive mothers and the same number of HBsAg-positive HBeAg-negative mothers and HBsAg-negative mothers participated in the study. Sixty-nine percent of their children also participated. There was a non-significant positive association between HBeAg prevalence in children and the number of HBeAg-positive older siblings (64.1%, 69.2% and 83.3% in children with 0, 1 and ≥2 HBeAg-positive older siblings, respectively). After adjusting for confounders, having an HBeAg-positive mother was a risk factor for HBeAg positivity in children carrying HBsAg (adjusted OR 4.5, 95% CI: 1.0-19.5, p = 0.04), whilst the number of HBeAg-positive older siblings was not.
Maternal HBeAg was associated with positive HBeAg in children with chronic HBV infection. This suggests that interrupting mother-to-infant transmission in sub-Saharan Africa might help reduce the burden of liver disease. A timely dose of HBV vaccine within 24 hours of birth, as recommended by WHO, should be implemented in sub-Saharan Africa.
PMCID: PMC4066313  PMID: 24885392
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B e antigens; Infectious disease transmission; Vertical; Age factors; Africa
19.  Characterization of Treatment-Naive HIV/HBV Co-Infected Patients Attending ART Clinic of a Tertiary Healthcare Centre in Eastern India 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73613.
The study was designed to assess the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection scenario among the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients attending a tertiary healthcare unit in eastern India. Additionally, clinical and virological characterization of these viruses, prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation was also done for better understanding of the disease profile.
Pool of ART-naive HIV/HBV co-infected and HIV mono-infected patients, participating in two different studies, were included in this study. HBV DNA was detected by nested-PCR amplification followed by HBV genotype determination and HBV reverse transcriptase (RT) region amplification and direct sequencing for detecting drug resistance.
The prevalence of HBsAg (11.3%) was higher compared to anti-HCV (1.9%) among the HIV infected ART-naive patients. Moreover, majority of the HBeAg positive HIV/HBV co-infected patients (87.7%) had HBV DNA ≥20,000 IU/ml with median HBV DNA significantly higher than that of HBeAg negative subjects (5.7 log10 IU/ml vs. 4.2 log10 IU/ml; p<0.0001). Multivariate analysis also showed that HBeAg-positive status was independently associated with higher HBV DNA level (p = <0.001). Notably, 60.9% of the HBeAg negative co-infected subjects had HBV DNA ≥2,000 IU/ml of which 37.0% had HBV DNA ≥20,000 IU/ml. Genotype HBV/D (68.2%) was the predominant genotype followed by HBV/A (24.3%) and HBV/C (7.5%). Anti-HBV drug resistant mutations were detected in two (3.8%) of the ART-naive patients.
The prevalence of HIV/HBV co-infection was relatively higher in our study subjects. HBeAg testing might provide clue for early treatment initiation. Furthermore, HBeAg negative patients are also associated with high HBV DNA levels and therefore require appropriate medical attention. Pre-treatment screening for anti-HBV drug resistant mutations is not necessary before ART initiation.
PMCID: PMC3758335  PMID: 24023688
20.  Current State of and Needs for Hepatitis B Screening: Results of a Large Screening Study in a Low-Prevalent, Metropolitan Region 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92266.
In low hepatitis B virus (HBV)-prevalent countries, most HBV-infected persons are unaware of their status. We aimed to evaluate whether (i) previous HBV-testing, (ii) physicians decision to screen, and (iii) CDC's recommendations identified infected individuals and which risk-factor groups needing testing.
During a mass, multi-center HBV-screening study from September 2010-August 2011, 3929 participants were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), anti-HBs and anti-Hepatitis B core antibodies (anti-HBcAb). Questions on HBV risk-factors and testing practices were asked to participants, while participants' eligibility for HBV-testing was asked to study medical professionals.
85 (2.2%) participants were HBsAg-positive, while 659 (16.8%) had either resolved HBV infection or isolated anti-HBcAb. When comparing practices, HBV-testing was more likely to occur in HBV-infected participants if Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations were used (Sensitivity = 100%, 95%CI: 95.8–100) than physicians' discretion (Sensitivity = 87.1%, 95%CI: 78.0–93.4) or previous HBV-test (Sensitivity = 36.5%, 95%CI: 26.3–47.6) (p<0.0001). Nevertheless, many non-infected individuals would still have been screened using CDC-recommendations (Specificity = 31.1%, 95%CI: 29.6–32.6). Using multivariable logistic regression, HBsAg-positive status was significantly associated with the following: males, originating from high HBV-endemic region, contact with HBV-infected individual, without national healthcare, and intravenous-drug user (IDU). Of these risk-factors, physician's discretion for testing HBV was not significantly associated with participants' geographical origin or IDU.
Missed opportunities of HBV-screening are largely due to underestimating country of origin as a risk-factor. Applying CDC-recommendations could improve HBV-screening, but with the disadvantage of many tests. Further development of HBV-testing strategies is necessary, especially before severe disease occurs.
PMCID: PMC3963888  PMID: 24663387
21.  Multiple monoclonal B cell expansions and c-myc oncogene rearrangements in acquired immune deficiency syndrome-related lymphoproliferative disorders. Implications for lymphomagenesis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1986;164(6):2049-2060.
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and ARC (AIDS-related complex) are associated with a spectrum of lymphoproliferative disorders ranging from lymphadenopathy syndrome (LAS), an apparently benign polyclonal lymphoid hyperplasia, to B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL), i.e., malignant, presumably monoclonal B cell proliferations. To gain insight into the process of lymphomagenesis in AIDS and to investigate a possible pathogenetic relationship between LAS and NHL, we investigated the clonality of the B or T lymphoid populations by Ig or T beta gene rearrangement analysis, the presence of rearrangements involving the c-myc oncogene locus, and the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sequences in both LAS and B-NHL biopsies. Our data indicate that multiple clonal B cell expansions are present in a significant percentage of LAS (approximately 20%) and B- NHL (60%) biopsies. c-myc rearrangements/translocations are detectable in 9 of our 10 NHLs, but not in any of the LAS cases. However, only one of the B cell clones, identified by Ig gene rearrangements carries a c- myc gene rearrangement, suggesting that only one clone carries the genetic abnormality associated with malignant B cell lymphoma. Furthermore, the frequency of detection of c-myc rearrangements in AIDS- associated NHLs of both Burkitt and non-Burkitt type suggest that the biological alterations present in AIDS favor the development of lymphomas carrying activated c-myc oncogenes. Finally, our data show that HIV DNA sequences are not detectable in LAS nor in NHL B cell clones, suggesting that HIV does not play a direct role in NHL development. Taken together, these observations suggest a model of multistep lymphomagenesis in AIDS in which LAS would represent a predisposing condition to NHL. Immunosuppression and EBV infection present in LAS can favor the expansion of B cell clones, which in turn may increase the probability of occurrence of c-myc rearrangements leading to malignant transformation.
PMCID: PMC2188476  PMID: 3491176
22.  Prevalence and predictors of solid or hematological malignancies in a monocentric cohort of HIV patients from central Italy 
HIV-infected patients have a higher risk of developing cancer than the general population. Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), primary CNS lymphoma (PCL) and invasive cervical cancers are considered AIDS-defining. An increased incidence in recent years, however, has been reported also for other malignancies after the introduction of HAART.
We performed a case-control study to characterize all HIV-infected patients with both AIDS and non-AIDS-defining neoplasms observed among all consecutive patients followed at the Infectious Diseases Unit of Pescara General Hospital, since 1991 through 2012. All cases were matched with equinumerous controls without neoplasia homogeneous for age, sex and AIDS diagnosis.
Out of 626 patients consecutively assisted since 1991, 57 cases of malignancy (9.1%) were observed. Of these, 45 (79.0%) occurred in males; mean age was 43.6±9.3 years; 49 (86.0%) patients were diagnosed with AIDS. Tumors observed were: NHL, 17 (29.8%); SK, 13 (22.8%); HCC, 5 (8.8%); CPL, 6 (10.5%); Hodgkin's lymphoma, 4 (7.0%); solid tumors, 12 (21.1%), including 1 AIDS-defining tumor (anal cancer). Among these, 37 (66.1%) patients died; of them 14 (37.8%) had non-AIDS cancers. Cases were well matched with the 55 controls for sex (p=0.9), age (p=0.6) and AIDS diagnosis (p=0.6). In comparison with controls, CD4 nadirs were not different (153±151 in controls vs 136±154 cells/mmc), while CD4 at tumor diagnosis were very different between controls (463±283 cells/mmc) and cases (226±209 cells/mmc, p<0.0001). Among patients with malignancies, those who died had a non-significant reduction in CD4 counts (p=0.14); seemingly irrelevant were smoking status (p=0.9), working ability (p=0.4), HCV coinfection (p=0.4). Surprisingly, in patients co-infected with HBV, including HBsAg negative, antibody-positive subjects, tumors were significantly more frequent (60.7% vs. 38.8%, p=0.009).
Factors potentially relevant for carcinogenesis in the prolonged survival patients of the HAART era may include HBV coinfection in spite of the lack of active biochemical activity (HbsAg negative) in the majority of coinfected patients. The potential relevance of this finding deserves prompt assessment in a larger multicentric cohort.
PMCID: PMC3512444
23.  Low Rates of Hepatitis B Virus Screening at the Onset of Chemotherapy 
Journal of Oncology Practice  2012;8(4):e32-e39.
Future research directed toward identifying best screening methods and HBV risk tools will be necessary to reduce the risk of reactivation of HBV infection after chemotherapy.
Patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are at risk for reactivation after chemotherapy. Effective prophylaxis is available but depends on detection of prior infection. Previous studies have shown low screening rates, but no large-scale US studies have been conducted. We sought to determine predictors of screening and positive HBV test results in patients receiving chemotherapy.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with newly diagnosed cancer who received chemotherapy between January 2004 and September 2007 at a comprehensive cancer center. We determined rates and predictors of screening for HBV infection with HB surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) tests as well as the prevalence and predictors of positive results. We explored rates of acutely elevated liver function tests and liver decompensation after chemotherapy.
Of 10,729 new patients who received chemotherapy, 1,787 (16.7%) underwent HBsAg or anti-HBc screening. Less than 20% of patients with HBV risk factors were screened, even though their odds of HBV infection were increased four-fold compared with those without risk factors. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection was 1.5%. whereas 7.4% had positive anti-HBc only. The strongest predictors of HBV screening were having a history of HBV infection, hematologic malignancy, and rituximab treatment (P < .001). Asian ethnicity was not a significant predictor of screening, despite being a strong and highly significant predictor of positive test results (P < .001).
HBV screening among patients with cancer is low, especially among those known to be at high risk for HBV infection. Future research directed toward identifying best screening methods and HBV risk tools will be necessary to reduce the risk of reactivation of HBV infection after chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3396827  PMID: 23180996
24.  Hepatitis C infection and lymphoproliferative disease: Accidental comorbidities? 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(43):16197-16202.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with liver cancer and cirrhosis, autoimmune disorders such as thyroiditis and mixed cryoglobulinema, and alterations in immune function and chronic inflammation, both implicated in B cell lymphoproliferative diseases that may progress to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). HCV bound to B cell surface receptors can induce lymphoproliferation, leading to DNA mutations and/or lower antigen response thresholds. These findings and epidemiological reports suggest an association between HCV infection and NHL. We performed a systematic review of the literature to clarify this potential relationship. We searched the English-language literature utilizing Medline, Embase, Paper First, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, with search terms broadly defined to capture discussions of HCV and its relationship with NHL and/or lymphoproliferative diseases. References were screened to further identify relevant studies and literature in the basic sciences. A total of 62 reports discussing the relationship between HCV, NHL, and lymphoproliferative diseases were identified. Epidemiological studies suggest that at least a portion of NHL may be etiologically attributable to HCV, particularly in areas with high HCV prevalence. Studies that showed a lack of association between HCV infection and lymphoma may have been influenced by small sample size, short follow-up periods, and database limitations. The association appears strongest with the B-cell lymphomas relative to other lymphoproliferative diseases. Mechanisms by which chronic HCV infection promotes lymphoproliferative disease remains unclear. Lymphomagenesis is a multifactorial process involving genetic, environmental, and infectious factors. HCV most probably have a role in the lymphomagenesis but further study to clarify the association and underlying mechanisms is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4239508  PMID: 25473174
Blood; Hepatitis C infection; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Pathogenesis; Treatment
25.  Cellular immunity in children with successful immunoprophylactic treatment for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:103.
The administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin followed by hepatitis B vaccine can result in a protective efficacy of almost 90% in mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV). However, little is known about immunity against HBV infection in children after immunoprophylactic treatment. We tried to assess the association between T-cell responses and viremia in children after successful prophylactic treatment.
Thirteen children and their 8 HBV carrier mothers (8 families), who were positive for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A24, were enrolled in this study. All of the 13 children received immunoprophylactic treatment and became negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) after birth. HBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses were evaluated using IFNγ - enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) and major histocompatibility complex class I peptide pentamer assays. Serum HBV DNA was measured by real-time PCR.
Significant HBV-specific T-cell responses were detected in 2 (15%) of the 13 children by ELISPOT. However, the frequency of HLA-A24-HBV-specific CTLs was very low in both HBV carrier mothers and children using pentamers. Of the 13 children, 4 (31%) were positive for serum HBV DNA. However, the levels of serum HBV DNA were 100 copies/ml or less. One of the 2 children in whom significant HBV-specific CTL responses were detectable was positive for serum HBV DNA.
HBV core and polymerase-specific T-cell responses were detected and a low-dose viremia was observed in children after successful immunoprophylaxis treatment. Although the presence of viremia was not related to HBV-specific T-cell responses, CTLs might play a role in the control of HBV infection in children born to HBsAg-positive mothers after immunoprophylactic treatment.
PMCID: PMC2879245  PMID: 20423521

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