Evaluation of antiviral - passive - active immunization ("sandwich") therapeutic strategy for functional cure of chronic hepatitis B in mice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) remains a major problem for global public health. Viral persistence and immune defects are the two major reasons for CHB, and it was hypothesized that based on a transient clearance of serum viral DNA and HBsAg "window stage", active immunization against hepatitis B virus (HBV) might initiate effective host immune responses versus HBV to achieve functional cure of CHB. METHODS:Two experimental mouse models that mice hydrodynamic injected HBV DNA or infected with recombinant AAV/HBV were used. The "sandwich" therapeutic effect by using a potent human anti-HBsAg neutralizing monoclonal antibody (G12) in combination with antiviral drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), followed by active immunization with HBsAg-HBsAb (mYIC) was evaluated. FINDINGS:A single G12 injection rapidly cleared serum HBsAg in HDI-HBV carrier mice, with a synergistic effect in decreasing viral DNA load when TDF was given orally. When both serum viral DNA and HBsAg load became low or undetectable, mYIC was administered. A more effective clearance of viral DNA and HBsAg was observed and serum HBsAb was developed only in these "sandwich"-treated mice. Efficient intrahepatic anti-HBV immune responses were also observed in these mice, including the formation of aggregates of myeloid cells with CD8+T cells and increased TNF-?, granzyme B production. INTERPRETATION:The "sandwich" combination therapy not only efficiently decreased HBsAg and HBV DNA levels but also induced effective cellular and humoral immunity, which may result in functional cure of CHB.
Project description:Integrated data on hepatitis B virus (HBV) patterns, HBV genotypes and mutations are lacking in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) co-infected patients from Africa. This survey was conducted in 2010-2013 among 762 HIV-1-positive adults from Gabon who were predominantly treated with 3TC-based antiretroviral treatment. HBV patterns were identified using immunoassays detecting total antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAb), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), IgM HBcAb, hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), antibody to HBsAg (HBsAb) and an in-house real-time PCR test for HBV DNA quantification. Occult hepatitis B (OBI) was defined by the presence of isolated anti-HBc with detectable serum HBV DNA. HBV genotypes and HBV mutations were analyzed by PCR-direct sequencing method. Seventy-one (9.3%) patients tested positive for HBsAg, including one with acute hepatitis B (0.1%; 95% CI, 0.0%-0.2%), nine with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) (1.2%; 95% CI, 0.6%-2.2%), 16 with HBeAg-negative CHB (2.1%; 95% CI, 1.2%-3.3%) and 45 inactive HBV carriers (5.9%; 95% CI, 4.4%-7.8%). Sixty-one (8.0%; 95% CI, 6.2%-10.1%) patients showed OBI. Treated patients showed similar HBV DNA levels to those obtained in untreated patients, regardless of HBV patterns. Around 15.0% of OBI patients showed high (>1,000 UI/mL) viremia. The mutation M204V/I conferring resistance to 3TC was more common in HBV/A (47.4%) than in HBV/E isolates (0%) (P = .04). Our findings encouraged clinicians to promote HBV vaccination in patients with no exposure to HBV and to switch 3TC to universal TDF in those with CHB.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Serum quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels may be an important predictor of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion (SC) in HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients during antiviral treatment. The pattern of HBsAg variation in CHB patients either with or without SC following tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) treatment is not clearly understood. METHODS: Twenty patients with full experimental data were enrolled, and liver biochemistry, serum HBV DNA, and circulating CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell (Treg) levels were determined at baseline and every 12 weeks after the initiation of TDF treatment (for a total of 96 weeks). In addition, the relationship between HBsAg or HBeAg and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), HBV DNA and Treg levels in SC and non-SC patients was analyzed. RESULTS: In all, 9 patients had undergone HBeAg seroconversion by week 72 of TDF treatment, and biochemical and virological indexes and Treg percentages declined to normal levels. Furthermore, the positive correlation between HBsAg and ALT, HBV DNA and Treg levels was significant for SC patients, but not for non-SC patients. However, for HBeAg, significant positive correlations were or not observed for both SC and non-SC patients. CONCLUSIONS: The quantitation of HBsAg is a more useful indicator than HBeAg for distinguishing SC and non-SC patients during TDF treatment. Moreover, HBsAg may be related to immune regulatory property of CHB patients during antiviral treatment.
Project description:Some reports have documented the coexistence of Hepatitis B surfage Antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HBsAg antibodies (HBsAb) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), often in the absence of amino acid substitutions in the HBsAg sequences of the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) genome able to explain an immunological escape variant.HBV genome has a very compact coding organization, with four partially overlapping open reading frames (ORFs). Because the reverse transcriptase region (rt) of HBV polymerase overlaps the HBsAg ORF, it is possible that some mutations in the HBsAg region correspond to mutations in the rt ORF, conferring resistance to current antiviral therapies. This unique case explores the response to antiviral therapies of a CHB with concurrent HBsAg and HBsAb positivity, and analyse the clinical implications of possible mutations in rt and HBsAg ORFs.Here we describe the case of a 59 year-old Italian man suffering from Hepatitis B envelope Antigen (HBeAg) positive CHB with concurrent HBsAb positivity. By ultra-deep pyro-sequencing (UDPS) technique, mutations conferring immunological escape or resistance to antiviral therapies were found neither in HBsAg nor in HBV rt ORFs, respectively. The patient was unsuccessfully treated with interferon, adefovir monotherapy and adefovir plus entecavir combination. Surprisingly, during entecavir plus tenofovir combination, anti-HBe seroconversion and HBsAg loss were observed, while the titer of HBsAb persisted.Concurrent HBsAg/HBsAb positivity in active CHB is a clinical and virological dilemma. In this setting, there are not consistent data about the response to conventional therapies and the immunological balance between host and virus remains so far unexplained. This is, to our knowledge, the first case described of a CHB with HBsAg/HBsAb positivity, wild type for clinically relevant mutations in HBsAg and rt ORFs, successfully treated with a combination of nucleot(s)ide analogues (NAs).
Project description:Long-term tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) treatment for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is associated with sustained viral suppression and regression of fibrosis and cirrhosis at year 5 (240 weeks) and no TDF resistance through 6 years (288 weeks).We assessed the efficacy, safety, and resistance of TDF for up to 7 years (336 weeks) in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB patients.Patients who completed 1 year (48 weeks) of randomized treatment with TDF or adefovir dipivoxil were eligible to receive open-label TDF for a total duration of 8 years (384 weeks).Of 641 patients initially randomized, 585 (91.3 %) entered the open-label phase; 437/585 (74.7 %) remained on study at year 7. For patients on treatment at year 7, 99.3 % maintained viral suppression (HBV DNA < 69 IU/mL), 80.0 % achieved serum alanine aminotransferase normalization, and in HBeAg-positive patients, 84/154 (54.5 %) and 25/154 (11.8 %) achieved HBeAg and HBsAg loss, respectively. One/375 (0.3 %) HBeAg-negative patients achieved HBsAg loss. No resistance to TDF was detected through 7 years. During the open-label phase, grade 3/4 drug-related adverse events were uncommon (1.0 %); ten (1.7 %) patients had elevation of serum creatinine ? 0.5 mg/dL above baseline. No significant change in bone mineral density was observed from year 4 to year 7 (week 192 to week 336).Long-term TDF treatment was associated with sustained virologic, biochemical, and serologic responses, without resistance. TDF treatment was well tolerated, with a low incidence of renal and bone events. These data confirm the safety and efficacy of long-term TDF for CHB.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) has been widely recommended as a first-line antiviral agent to treat chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Qingzhong and Viread, formulations of TDF commercialized by Jiangsu Chia-tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively, have both been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration, China. This study analyzed the efficacy and safety of these 2 TDF agents in Chinese patients with CHB. METHODS:In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, noninferiority phase 3 clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02287857), 330 Chinese patients with CHB [hepatitis B envelope antigen-positive (HBeAg) (+): 232] were randomly assigned to receive Qingzhong (group A: 161 patients) or Viread (group B: 169 patients) 300?mg once daily for 48 weeks. Subsequently, all patients were administered Qingzhong 300?mg once daily from week 49 to week 240. The primary end point was the degree of decline of plasma hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels at week 48 and the secondary endpoints were viral suppression, normalization of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)/HBeAg loss or seroconversion, and virological breakthrough. RESULTS:Among patients with CHB who were HBeAg (+), the mean HBV DNA titer decreased similarly between the groups at week 48. The percentages of patients who achieved undetectable HBV DNA were similar between the groups (85.11% and 82.35% in groups A and B, respectively) and similar losses of HBeAg and HBeAg seroconversion rates were achieved. Moreover, for patients with CHB who were HBeAg (-), reductions in HBV DNA were similar. Among all patients with CHB, the rates of normalization of ALT and the loss of HBsAg were similar. The overall incidence of adverse events was comparable between the groups. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, the 48-week administration of Qingzhong showed noninferior efficacy and safety profiles compared to Viread in Chinese patients with CHB.
Project description:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype E almost exclusively occurs in African people, and its presence is more commonly associated with the development of chronic HBV (CHB) infection. Moreover, an epidemiological link has been found between the distribution of HBV genotype E infection and African countries with high incidences of hepatocellular carcinoma. As part of a programme for the health assessment of migrants, we evaluated 358 young African subjects for HBV infection; 58.1% (208/358) were positive for an HBV marker, and 54 (25.5%) had CHB. Eighty-one percent of the CHB subjects were infected with HBV genotype E, with a median serum HBV-DNA of 3.2 (IQR: 2.7-3.6) logIU/ml. All patients had high serum HBsAg titres (10,899 [range 5,359-20,272] IU/ml), and no correlation was found between HBsAg titres and HBV-DNA plasma levels. RT sequence analysis showed the presence of a number of immune escape mutations: strains from all of the patients had a serine at HBsAg position 140; 3 also had T116N, Y100C, and P142L+S143L substitutions; and 1 had a G112R substitution. Six (18%) patients had stop-codons at position 216. In 5 of the 9 (26.5%) CHB patients, ultrasound liver biopsy, quantification of total intrahepatic HBV-DNA and cccDNA, and RT/HBsAg sequencing were performed. The median (IQR) total intrahepatic HBV-DNA was 766 (753-1139) copies/1000 cells, and the median (IQR) cccDNA was 17 (10-27) copies/1000 cells. Correlations were observed for both total intrahepatic HBV-DNA and cccDNA with serum HBV-DNA, while no correlation was found for the HBsAg titres. A difference of 2.5/1,000 nucleotides was found in the HBsAg sequences obtained from plasma and from liver tissue, with 3 cases of possible viral anatomical compartmentalization. In conclusion, a high rate of CHB infection due to the E genotype was demonstrated in a group of immigrants from Western Africa. An analysis of the viral strains obtained showed the virological characteristics of immune escape, which may be the cause of viral replication persistence. Moreover, a fair percentage of stop codon mutations were found. The lack of correlation between HBsAg titres and plasma or intrahepatic HBV-DNA found in these subjects suggests a pathway of virus production that is not linked to HBsAg secretion. Studies with a larger number of patients with CHB due to the E genotype are advisable to corroborate these observations.
Project description:The efficacy of switching to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) monotherapy from lamivudine (LAM) plus adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) combination therapy (stable switching) in patients with LAM-resistant chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and undetectable hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA is not clear.In this non-inferiority trial, patients with LAM-resistant CHB and undetectable serum HBV DNA (<20 IU/mL) for >6 months after initiating LAM+ADV combination therapy were randomized (1:2) either to continue the combination therapy (LAM+ADV group, n = 58) or switched to TDF monotherapy (TDF group, n = 111). They were followed-up with serum biochemistry tests and HBV DNA measurement at 12-week intervals for 96 weeks. The primary endpoint of this study was the proportion of patients with viral reactivation at week 96.Patients with CHB enrolled in this study (n = 169) included 74 patients with compensated liver cirrhosis. In total, 9 patients (4 in the LAM+ADV group and 5 in the TDF group) dropped-out from the study. After a mean follow-up period of 96 weeks, the proportion of HBV reactivation observed was 6.8% (4/58) in the LAM+ADV group and 4.5% (5/111) in the TDF group by using intention-to-treat analysis (difference, -2.3%; 95% CI, -9.84-5.24%). None of the subjects in either group experienced viral reactivation based on per protocol analysis. No serious adverse reactions were observed. In the subgroup analysis for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) before and after treatment, decreased eGFR was observed only in the TDF group with cirrhosis (85.22 vs. 79.83 mL/min/1.73 m2, p = 0.000).Stable switching to TDF monotherapy yielded non-inferior results at 96 weeks compared to the results obtained with LAM+ADV combination therapy in patients with LAM-resistant CHB and undetectable HBV DNA. However, TDF monotherapy in patients with cirrhosis requires close attention with respect to renal function.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01732367.
Project description:AIM:To evaluate the impact of mass vaccination against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Egypt, and to search for vaccinee asymptomatic breakthrough HBV infection and its genotype. METHODS:Seven hundred serum samples from vaccinated children and adults (aged 2-47 years) were used for quantitative and qualitative detection of HBsAb by ELISA. Three hundred and sixty serum samples representing undetectable or low or high HBsAb were screened for markers of active HBV infection (HBsAg, HBcAb (IgG) and HBeAb by ELISA, plus HBsAg by AxSYM) and HBV-DNA genotyping by nested multiplex PCR and by DNA sequencing. RESULTS:It was found that 65% of children aged 2-4 years, and 20.5% aged 4-13 years, as well as 45% adults were good responders to HBV vaccination mounting protective level HBsAb. Poor responders were 28%, 59.5% and 34%, and non-responders were 7%, 20% and 21% respectively, in the three studied groups. Markers of asymptomatic HBV infections were HBsAg detected by ELISA in 2.5% vs 11.39% by AxSYM. Other markers were HBcAb (IgG) in 1.38%, HBeAb in 0.83%, and HBV-DNA in 7.8%. All had HBV genotype E infection. CONCLUSION:It is concluded that HBV vaccine is efficient in controlling HBV infection among children and adults. The vaccine breakthrough infection was by HBV genotype E. A booster dose of vaccine is recommended, probably four years after initial vaccination.
Project description:Background/Aim:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF-B) in spontaneous reactivation of chronic hepatitis B (SR-CHB) has high mortality. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) improves survival by ~40% in ACLF-B but is potentially nephrotoxic. Combining telbivudine (LDT) with TDF may negate this risk and could boost rapid viral clearance and improve clinical outcomes. Patients and Methods:Seventy consecutive patients with SR-CHB were randomized to TDF (300 mg/day, n = 35) or TDF plus LDT (600 mg/day; n = 35). In all, 25 had ACLF-B and none had option for liver transplantation. Primary endpoint was survival at 3 months. Secondary endpoints were survival at 3 months in ACLF-B, serial reduction in hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss and liver-related complications. Results:Overall baseline clinical and laboratory parameters in the two groups were comparable. Reduction in HBV DNA at weeks 2, 4 and 12 was independent of treatment groups and presence of ACLF-B (P < 0.01). All six patients with HBsAg loss at 12 weeks had lower HBV DNA at baseline and none had ACLF-B. Patients with no ACLF-B had more rapid decline in bilirubin and alanine aminotraminase at week 2 compared with ACLF-B. Patients on TDF plus LDT showed significant improvement in AKI on follow-up (five of six patients) compared with TDF monotherapy (none of six patients) and had less reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate at week 12. Eight of 10 patients with liver-related deaths received TDF monotherapy (P = 0.02). New-onset septic shock, TDF monotherapy, e-antibody positivity, and higher baseline model for end-stage liver disease score were predictors of mortality in ACLF-B. None had treatment-related severe adverse effects. Conclusion:Addition of LDT to tenofovir is safe and may be renoprotective in spontaneous reactivation of hepatitis B. Combination therapy improves survival in ACLF-B despite comparable HBV DNA suppression to tenofovir monotherapy.
Project description:AIMS:This study aimed to investigate the dynamic pattern of serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients on long-term nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) therapy and evaluate predictor value of end-of-treatment (EOT) serum HBV RNA status on drug-withdrawal durability. METHODS:We carried out a real-life cohort study of 326 CHB patients on NA treatment between February 12, 2016 and February 21, 2018. Thirty of these patients discontinued NA treatment after enrollment, and were included in 2-year off-therapy follow-up. Serum HBV RNA levels were determined using the RNA simultaneous amplification testing method. RESULTS:Both serum HBV RNA and DNA levels declined significantly in long-term antiviral progress. When the treatment duration was longer than 3 years, the undetectable rates of HBV RNA and DNA were 55.10% and 97.0%, respectively. The serum HBV RNA-negative rate was 39.5%. The cumulative 2-year off-therapy viral and clinical relapse rate was 40.56%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 21.51-59.61 and 31.31%; 95% CI, 11.32-51.29 in all patients, respectively. Patients with EOT hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)?1000?IU/mL plus HBV RNA negativity had a relatively lower cumulative 2-year off-therapy viral relapse rate (23.01%; 95% CI, 0.17-45.99). EOT HBsAg?1000?IU/mL plus HBV RNA negativity showed obvious superiority for the EOT HBsAg?1000?IU/mL single in drug withdrawal durability prediction, with better specificity (18.18% vs. 72.73%, P=0.03), and the positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 76.92% and 47.06%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:In the long-term antiviral process, both serum HBV RNA and DNA levels declined significantly. EOT serum HBV RNA negativity was not an independent drug withdrawal marker, but can complement the HBsAg titer to monitor drug withdrawal in CHB patients on long-term NA therapy.