Hepatitis B, C, and D Virus Infections in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Comparative Study in Niger

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  • Service de Medecine Interne, et Service de Radiologie et d'Echographie, Hopital National, Unite de Recherche sur les Hepatites (INSERM), Department d'Anatomie Pathologique, Faculte des Sciences de la Sante, Niamey, Niger
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Eighty-nine Sahelian African patients with chronic active hepatitis (CAH) (14), cirrhosis (49), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (26), and 47 controls were tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV, hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg]) and hepatitis D virus (HDV, anti-HDV antibody). Seventy-three percent of the patients were positive for HBsAg versus 29.8% of the controls (P < 0.0001). With anti-HDV test, 55.0% of the patients were positive versus 17.0% of the controls (P < 0.0001). To assess the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis C virus (HCV), we used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for screening (anti-HCV2): 19.1% of the patients were positive versus 6.4% of the controls (P < 0.05). An association between HBsAg and anti-HDV-positive test results was found in 46.1% of the patients versus 6.4% of the controls (P < 0.0001). A combination of HBsAg and anti-HCV2-positive test results was found in 13.5% of the patients versus 2.2% of the controls (P < 0.05). Anti-HDV and anti-HCV2 test results were positive in 13.5% of the patients versus 2.2% of the controls (P < 0.05). Triple-positive test results (HBsAg, anti-HDV, and anti-HCV2) were found in 11.2% of the patients but in none of the controls (P < 0.025). Triplenegative test results were found in 14.6% of the patients versus 57.4% of the controls (P < 0.0001). The predominant association of the chronic HBV infection with CAH, cirrhosis, and HCC is confirmed in Sahelian Africa. The HDV superinfection (chronic HBV plus HDV infections) may be a major etiology. The HCV infection is less common but the association of HDV and HCV infections is present.

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