Genomic variability associated with the presence of occult hepatitis B virus in HIV co-infected individuals.
ABSTRACT: Occult hepatitis B virus (O-HBV) infection is characterized by the presence of HBV DNA without detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBV DNA+/HBsAg-) in the serum. Although O-HBV is more prevalent during HBV/HIV co-infection, analysis of HBV mutations in co-infected patients is limited. In this preliminary study, HBV PreSurface (PreS) and surface (S) regions were amplified from 33 HIV-positive patient serum samples - 27 chronic HBV (C-HBV) and six O-HBV infections. HBV genotype was determined by phylogenetic analysis, while quasispecies diversity was quantified for the PreS, S and overlapping polymerase regions. C-HBV infections harboured genotypes A, D and G, compared to A, E, G and one mixed A/G infection for O-HBV. Interestingly, nonsynonymous-synonymous mutation values indicated positive immune selection in three regions for O-HBV vs one for C-HBV. Sequence analysis further identified new O-HBV mutations, in addition to several previously reported mutations within the HBsAg antigenic determinant. Several of these O-HBV mutations likely contribute to the lack of detectable HBsAg in O-HBV infection by interfering with detection in serologic assays, altering antigen secretion and/or decreasing replicative fitness.
Project description:Occult hepatitis B is characterized by the absence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) but the presence of HBV DNA. Because diagnosis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) typically includes HBsAg detection, occult HBV remains largely undiagnosed. Occult HBV is associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, reactivation to chronic HBV during immune suppression, and transmission during blood transfusion and liver transplant. The mechanisms leading to occult HBV infection are unclear, although viral mutations are likely a significant factor. In this study, sera from 394 HIV-positive South Africans were tested for HBV DNA and HBsAg. For patients with detectable HBV DNA, the overlapping surface and polymerase open reading frames (ORFs) were sequenced. Occult-associated mutations-those mutations found exclusively in individuals with occult HBV infection but not in individuals with chronic HBV infection from the same cohort or GenBank references-were identified. Ninety patients (22.8%) had detectable HBV DNA. Of these, 37 had detectable HBsAg, while 53 lacked detectable surface antigen. The surface and polymerase ORFs were cloned successfully for 19 patients with chronic HBV and 30 patients with occult HBV. In total, 235 occult-associated mutations were identified. Ten occult-associated mutations were identified in more than one patient. Additionally, 15 amino acid positions had two distinct occult-associated mutations at the same residue. Occult-associated mutations were common and present in all regions of the surface and polymerase ORFs. Further study is underway to determine the effects of these mutations on viral replication and surface antigen expression in vitro.
Project description:Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is characterized by the absence of detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the serum, despite detectable HBV DNA. Investigations of the mechanisms underlying the development of occult HBV infection are lacking in the current literature, although viral mutations in the surface region, resulting in decreased HBsAg expression or secretion, represent one potential mechanism. Wild-type HBsAg expression vectors were constructed from genotype-matched chronic HBV sequences. Site-directed mutagenesis was then utilized to introduce three genotype A mutations - M103I, K122R and G145A - associated with occult HBV infection in vivo, alone and in combination, into the wild-type HBsAg vectors. Transfection of Huh7 and HepG2 cell lines was performed, and cell culture supernatants and cell lysates were collected over 7 days to assess the effects of these mutations on extracellular and intracellular HBsAg levels. The G145A mutation resulted in significantly decreased extracellular and intracellular HBsAg expression in vitro. The most pronounced reduction in HBsAg expression was observed when all three mutations were present. The mutations evaluated in vitro in the current study resulted in decreased HBsAg expression and potentially increased hepatic retention and/or decreased hepatic secretion of synthesized HBsAg, which could explain the lack of HBsAg detection that is characteristic of occult HBV infection in vivo.
Project description:In Gabon, a central African country, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are endemic. In a recent study, conducted in a semi-urban area (Franceville, Gabon), HBV infection was found to be more prevalent among HIV infected individuals. This study aims to investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of hepatitis B virus infection among HIV infected individuals, predominantly under antiretroviral therapy, living in fully urbanized area: Libreville, capital of Gabon. Serological and molecular tests were performed to detect HBV infection among patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). We used Monolisa HBsAg ULTRA, Anti-HBc Plus and Anti-HBs Plus EIA kits for serological analyses. HBV DNA viral load (HBV DNA VL) was determined by real time PCR and molecular characterization of HBV strains was performed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial HBV surface and core genes. At all, 70.2% of patients were under antiretroviral therapy. The prevalence of HBsAg was 8.8% (43/487). Detectable HBV DNA was found in 69.7% (30/43) of HBsAg positive patients and in 17.5% (24/137) HBsAg negative patients. HBV DNA VL was significantly higher among patient with CD4 cell counts less than 200 cells/mm3 than those with CD4 cell counts greater than 500 cells/mm3 (p = 0.008). We confirmed the presence of HBV sub-genotypes QS-A3 (40%), and A4 (20%) and HBV-E genotype (40%). The percentage of resistance to Lamivudine was high (40%) and varied according to the M204V/I motif. Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) was found in patients with isolated HBcAb and among patients who had completed their HBsAg seroconversion. We detected HBV DNA for one patient without any HBV serological marker. This study provides a new landmark for the comprehension of HBV infection in PLHA in urban areas. OBI enhances HBV DNA prevalence and should be investigated in all HBsAg negative individuals.
Project description:Molecular mechanisms related to occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, particularly those based on genotype C infection, have rarely been determined thus far in the ongoing efforts to determine infection mechanisms. Therefore, we aim to elucidate the mutation patterns in the surface open reading frame (S ORF) underlying occult infections of HBV genotype C in the present study. Nested PCRs were applied to 624 HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) negative Korean subjects. Cloning and sequencing of the S ORF gene was applied to 41 occult cases and 40 control chronic carriers. Forty-one (6.6%) of the 624 Korean adults with HBsAg-negative serostatus were found to be positive for DNA according to nested PCR tests. Mutation frequencies in the three regions labeled here as preS1, preS2, and S were significantly higher in the occult subjects compared to the carriers in all cases. A total of two types of deletions, preS1 deletions in the start codon and preS2 deletions as well as nine types of point mutations were significantly implicated in the occult infection cases. Mutations within the "a" determinant region in HBsAg were found more frequently in the occult subjects than in the carriers. Mutations leading to premature termination of S ORF were found in 16 occult subjects (39.0%) but only in one subject from among the carriers (2.5%). In conclusion, our data suggest that preS deletions, the premature termination of S ORF, and "a" determinant mutations are associated with occult infections of HBV genotype C among a HBsAg-negative population. The novel mutation patterns related to occult infection introduced in the present study can help to broaden our understanding of HBV occult infections.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) is a phase of HBV infection characterised by the presence of HBV DNA in the absence of detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). OBI is of concern in the HIV-infected due to high prevalence and risk of HBV reactivation. The prevalence and clinico-demographic characteristics of OBI in anti-retroviral therapy (ART) naïve HIV infected adults in Kenya is unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross sectional study carried was out at three sites in Kenya. HIV infected ART naïve adults were enrolled and demographic data collected. Blood samples were assayed for HBsAg, HBV DNA, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) and hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Data on CD4 count, HIV viral load and platelet count were obtained from medical records.<h4>Results</h4>Of 208 patients, 199 (95.7%) did not report HBV vaccination, 196 (94.2%) were HBsAg negative, 119 (57.2%) had no HBV markers, 58 (27.9%) had previous HBV infection (anti-HBc positive) and 11 (5.3%) had OBI. All 11 (100%) OBI patients were anti-HBc positive. OBI patients comprised 19.0% of HBsAg negative, anti-HBc positive patients. There was no difference in clinico-demographic characteristics between the overt HBV, OBI and HBV negative patients.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This was the first study on OBI in ART naïve HIV infected adults in Kenya. The lower OBI prevalence compared to other sub-Saharan African countries could be attributed to lower HBV exposure. Most patients were HBV unexposed and unimmunized, outlining the need to implement guideline recommended immunization strategies.
Project description:To determine the frequency of occult hepatitis B infection (OHBI) in a group of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1+/ hepatitis B surface antigen negative (HBsAg)- patients from Mexico.We investigated the presence of OHBI in 49 HIV-1+/HBsAg- patients. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA was analyzed using nested PCR to amplify the Core (C) region and by real-time PCR to amplify a region of the S and X genes. The possible associations between the variables and OHBI were investigated using Pearson's ?(2) and/or Fisher's exact test.We found that the frequency of OHBI was 49% among the group of 49 HIV-1+/HBsAg- patients studied. The presence of OHBI was significantly associated with the HIV-1 RNA viral load [odds ratio (OR) = 8.75; P = 0.001; 95%CI: 2.26-33.79] and with HIV-antiretroviral treatment with drugs that interfere with HBV replication (lamivudine, tenofovir or emtricitabine) (OR = 0.25; P = 0.05; 95%CI: 0.08-1.05).The OHBI frequency is high among 49 Mexican HIV-1+/HBsAg- patients and it was more frequent in patients with detectable HIV RNA, and less frequent in patients who are undergoing HIV-ARV treatment with drugs active against HBV.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) preS/S-gene mutations on occult HBV infection (OBI) is not fully understood. This study characterized multiple novel HBV preS/S-gene mutants obtained from an OBI patient. METHODS:PreS/S-gene mutants were analyzed by clonal sequencing. Viral replication and expression were analyzed by transfecting HBV genomic recombinants into HepG2 cells. RESULTS:Twenty-one preS/S-gene mutants were cloned from four sequential serum samples, including 13 mutants that were not previously documented: (1) sI/T126V+sG145R; (2) preS1 nt 3014-3198 deletion; (3) preS1 nt 3046-3177 deletion; (4) preS1 nt 3046-3177 deletion+s115-116 "INGTST" insertion; (5) preS1 nt 3046-3177 deletion+s115-116 "INGTST" insertion+sG145R; (6) preS1 nt 3115-3123 deletion+sQ129N; (7) preS1 nt 3115-3123 deletion+s126-127 "RPCMNCTI" insertion; (8) s115-116 "INGTST" insertion; (9) s115-116 "INGTST" insertion+sG145R; (10) s126-127 "RPCMNCTI" insertion; (11) preS1 nt 2848-2862 deletion+preS2 initiation codon M?I; (12) s122-123 "KSTGLCK" insertion+sQ129N; and (13) preS2 initiation codon M?I+s131-133TSM?NST. The proportion of preS1 nt 3046-3177 deletion and preS2 initiation codon M?I+s131-133TSM?NST mutants increased in the viral pool with prolonged disease. The 13 novel OBI-related mutants showed a 51.2-99.9% decrease in HBsAg levels compared with that of the wild type. Additional N-glycosylation-associated mutations, sQ129N and s131-133TSM?NST, but not s126-127 "RPCMNCTI," greatly attenuated anti-HBs binding to HBsAg. Compared with the wild type, replication and surface antigen promoter II activity of the preS1 nt 3046-3177 deletion mutant decreased by 43.3% and 97.0%, respectively. CONCLUSION:PreS/S-gene mutations may play coordinated roles in the presentation of OBI and might be associated with disease progression. This has implications for HBV diagnosis and vaccine improvement.
Project description:The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global problem; however, the burden of HBV infection in pregnant women in Botswana is unknown. We sought to determine the prevalence of chronic and occult HBV infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected pregnant women in Botswana. Samples from 752 pregnant women were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and HBsAg-positive samples were tested for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and HBV DNA load. Samples that were HBsAg negative were screened for occult HBV infection by determining the HBV DNA load. HBV genotypes were determined based on a 415-base-pair fragment of the surface gene. Among the 752 women tested during pregnancy or early postpartum, 16 (2.1%) (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0?2.2) were HBsAg-positive. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection was higher (3.1%) among HIV-infected (95% CI: 3.0?3.2) compared with HIV-uninfected women (1.1%) (95% CI: 1.07?1.1, p = 0.057). Among the 622 HBsAg-negative women, the prevalence of occult HBV infection was 6.6% (95% CI: 6.5?6.7). Three of thirteen HBsAg-positive participants were HBeAg-positive, and all were HIV-negative. Of the 11 maternal samples successfully genotyped, five (45.5%) were genotype D3, five (45.5%) were genotype A1, and one was genotype E (9%). Low and similar proportions of HIV-infected and -uninfected pregnant women in Botswana had occult or chronic HBV infection. We identified a subset of HIV-negative pregnant women who had high HBV DNA levels and were HBeAg-positive, and thus likely to transmit HBV to their infants.
Project description:Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is defined as the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver or serum in the absence of detectable HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). OBI poses a risk for the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The prevalence of OBI in Kenya is unknown, thus a study was undertaken to determine the prevalence and molecular characterization of OBI in Kenyan populations at high risk of HBV infection. Sera from two Nairobi cohorts, 99 male sex workers, primarily having sex with men (MSM-SW), and 13 non-MSM men having HIV-positive partners, as well as 65 HBsAg-negative patients presenting with jaundice at Kenyan medical facilities, were tested for HBV serological markers, including HBV DNA by real-time PCR. Positive DNA samples were sequenced and MSM-SW patients were further tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Of the 166 HBsAg-negative samples tested, 31 (18.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 13.5-25.3) were HBV DNA positive (i.e., occult), the majority (20/31; 64.5%) of which were HBV core protein antibody positive. HCV infection was not observed in the MSM-SW participants, although the prevalence of HBsAg positivity was 10.1% (10/99; 95% CI 5.6-17.6). HBV genotype A was predominant among study cases, including both HBsAg-positive and OBI participants, although the data suggests a non-African network transmission source among MSM-SW. The high prevalence of HBV infection among MSM-SW in Kenya suggests that screening programmes be instituted among high-risk cohorts to facilitate preventative measures, such as vaccination, and establish entry to treatment and linkage to care.
Project description:Prevalence and risk factors for isolated antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are not well known in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected pregnant women. It is unclear if women with occult infections are at risk of transmitting HBV to their infants.HIV-1-infected and HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative pregnant women were tested for antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs) and anti-HBc using enzyme immunoassay. Women with isolated anti-HBc were assessed for occult HBV infection, defined as HBV DNA levels >15 IU/mL, using the Abbott RealTime HBV DNA assay. Infants born to women with isolated anti-HBc and detectable HBV DNA were tested at 4 months of age for HBV DNA. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with isolated anti-HBc and occult HBV infection.Among 1812 HIV-infected pregnant women, 1682 were HBsAg negative. Fourteen percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 12%-15%) of HBsAg-negative women had an isolated anti-HBc that was independently associated with low CD4 count, age >35 years, birth in northern Thailand, and positive anti-hepatitis C virus serology. Occult HBV infection was identified in 24% (95% CI, 18%-30%) of women with isolated anti-HBc, representing 2.6% (95% CI, 1.9%-3.5%) of HIV-1-infected pregnant women, and was inversely associated with HIV RNA levels. None of the women with isolated anti-HBc and occult HBV infection transmitted HBV to their infants.HIV-1-infected pregnant women with isolated anti-HBc and occult HBV infection have very low HBV DNA levels and are thus at very low risk to transmit HBV to their infants.