Nigerian researchers find high levels of disease markers in patients with both HIV and HBV
Nigerian researchers report that people with HIV and Hepatitis Virus B (HIV/HBV) have different levels of markers relating to HBV disease than patients with HBV only. This could mean that HIV patients have a higher chance of developing HBV complications.
In this study, researchers showed the difference in HBV protein levels between people with HIV/HBV and those with HBV only. This difference could impact the way their HBV infection is treated, as well as the progression of their HIV status.
The researchers studied 250 patients in a Nigerian hospital and grouped them according to co-infection with HIV/HBV or only HBV, with an equal number of patients in each group. Blood samples were taken from all the patients and the level of proteins specific to HBV were monitored.
The researchers found that co-infected patients were older with the majority being female, compared to those infected with HBV alone. They also noticed that blood samples of patients with both viruses had different levels of proteins specific to HBV.
Some of these proteins were higher and others were lower compared to patients with HBV only. One specific HBV protein was only present in certain HIV/HBV patients. Higher HBV proteins usually meant patients would have a tendency to develop complications related to the disease. The researchers used a small number of people for this study, which may not be enough to make conclusions about the wider Nigerian population. There are also other proteins that could affect these results that the researchers did not look at. Co-infection with HIV and HBV is common in sub-Saharan Africa. HBV alone is responsible for around 800 000 deaths, and we know that HIV leads to a weakened immune system.
This study is a step towards developing better treatments for patients infected with both viruses. The authors and patients of this study were based in Ile-Efe, Nigeria, where there is a high rate of HIV/HBV infections.
Introduction Hepatitis B virus(HBV) infects about 2 billion people globally and accounts for mortality of about 800,000 from liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 70% of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) global burden. HIV/HBV co-infection results in early development of HBV complications, alterations of serological biomarkers of HBV.
Methods Two hundred and fifty patients with HIV/AIDS were screened for HBV and 20 (8%) were identified. Same number of HBV mono-infected individuals were recruited into the study and subsequently, HBV serological profiles which includes HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb,HBcAbIgM and HBcAbIgG were assayed using HBV ELISA kits.
Result Mean age of patients in the HBV/HIV cohort was 45.5 years while the HBV mono-infected infected cohort was 30.5 years. Majority of the HBV/HIV co-infected individuals were females (85%). Frequency of HBeAg among HIV/HBV co-infected cohort was 25% and 15% for HBV mono-infected, while the frequency of HBeAb was higher (60%) among cohort of HBV/HIV co-infected patients in comparison with the HBV mono-infected cohorts(50%). Two patients among the HIV/HBV co-infected cohort have the isolated anti-HBcAg serologic pattern.
Conclusion The study broadened the available evidence of comparative serologic profiles of Hepatitis B virus between cohorts of HBV/HIV co-infected individuals and HBV mono-infected patients in Nigeria.
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