PAGES: 383-385 DOI: 10.1590/0074-0276108032013019 Short communication
Occult hepatitis B virus infection among injecting drug users in the Central-West Region of Brazil

Márcia Alves Dias de Matos1,+, Renata Carneiro Ferreira1, Fabiana Perez Rodrigues2, Tamíris Augusto Marinho1, Carmen Luci Rodrigues Lopes2, Antônia Carlos Magalhães Novais4, Ana Rita Coimbra Motta-Castro3, Sheila Araújo Teles2, Francisco José Dutra Souto4, Regina Maria Bringel Martins1

1Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saúde Pública
2Faculdade de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brasil
3Departamento de Farmácia Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, MS, Brasil
4Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, MT, Brasil


The prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection was investigated in 149 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative injecting drug users (IDUs) in the Central-West Region of Brazil. Of these individuals, 19 were positive for HBV DNA, resulting in an occult HBV infection prevalence of 12.7% (19/149); six of these 19 individuals had anti-HBV core and/or anti-HBV surface antibodies and 13 were negative for HBV markers. All IDUs with occult hepatitis B reported sexual and/or parenteral risk behaviours. All HBV DNA-positive samples were successfully genotyped. Genotype D was the most common (17/19), followed by genotype A (2/19). These findings reveal a high prevalence of occult HBV infection and the predominance of genotype D among IDUs in Brazil’s Central-West Region.

Received 30 April 2012
Accepted 8 August 2012
Financial support: CNPq
+ Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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