OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression of human inflammatory cytokines in chronic hepatitis B patients according to the severity of the infection.
METHODS: We recruited a total of 120 patients, 40 of whom from cirrhotic, 40 non-cirrhotic, and 40 acute flare chronic hepatitis B and 40 healthy controls. For all groups total cellular RNA was extracted from whole blood samples, genomic DNA was eliminated, and cDNA was synthesized using the RT2 first strand kit, as instructed by the manufacturer. The real-time profiler PCR array was performed on a master cycler ep realplex and the data were analyzed using an online data analysis software.
RESULTS: Non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis B patients were found to significantly upregulate interleukin 10 receptors that regulate the balance between T helpers 1 and 2. On the other hand, patients with cirrhosis were found to have significant upregulated interleukin 3 gene expression.
CONCLUSION: Our finding suggests that upregulation of anti-inflammatory and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines may play a role in the progression of non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis B patients to cirrhotic and acute flare. However, a multi-center study with a larger sample size is needed to confirm our findings.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS: A prospective cohort study of vaccinated undergraduate students of University Putra Malaysia.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 408 undergraduate students who received infant hepatitis B vaccination volunteered for this study; 5 mL of venous blood was taken from the volunteers. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and core antibodies were tested using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit according to the manufacturer's instructions (DRG international Inc., USA). Molecular detection of hepatitis B viral DNA was performed using nested polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The prevalence of isolated anti-HBc among the vaccinated cohort was found to be 5.0%, out of which 80% had a hepatitis B surface antibodies (anti-HBs) titer higher than 10 IU/L, while 20% had less than 10 IU/L anti-HBs titer. All the anti-HBc positivesubjects had detectable hepatitis B viral DNA in their serum. Anamnestic response was found to be 100% among isolated anti-HBc with negative antibody.
CONCLUSION: Isolated anti-HBc developed protective levels of anti-HBs after a single dose of recombinant hepatitis B vaccination. HBV DNA was detected in all isolated anti-HBc indicating occult chronic HBV infection with undetectable HBsAg.