This study aimed to investigate the serum HBsAg level in patients with HDV co-infection, its relationship with HBV DNA and HDV RNA levels and with the fibrosis stage. 19 patients were considered. Patients with hepatitis C or HIV co-infection were excluded. HBV DNA and HDV RNA quantization was done using COBAS Taq Man HBV test (Roche Diagnostics) and AmpliSensHDV test (Inter Lab Service), respectively. The HBsAg level was measured by the Architect HBsAgQT (Abbott Laboratories) assay. Statistical relationships were estimated by the Pearson correlation coefficient r.
In patients with HDV co-infection no correlation between HBsAg level and HBV viral load was detected. The correlation between HBsAg and HDV RNA levels (r=0.663, p=0.002) as well as between HDV RNA level and fibrosis stage (r=0.50, p<0.05) was significant.
The correlation between HBsAg level and the fibrosis stage was less significant (r=0.42, p=0.07).
We conclude that in patients with HDV co-infection:
i. HBsAg level did not correlate with HBV DNA level.
ii. A high HBsAg level is usually associated with a high HDV RNA level, so it can be used for estimating HDV viral load.
iii. A severe fibrosis is usually associated with a high HDV RNA level and, to a lesser degree, with a high HBsAg level.
Gastroenterol Hepatol Open Access 2016, 5(7): 00170