Ordög K, Szendrôi A, Szarka K, Kugler Z, Csire M, Kapusinszky B, Xie J, Csizmadia K, Brojnás J, Rusvai E, Tempfli A, Berencsi G
Family members of 47 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-carrier pregnant women were tested for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), other markers of HBV infection, and hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibodies. Eleven members of six families were found to be HBV DNA positive. Five of the anti-HBe-positive persons were found to be HBV DNA carriers, too. The mean age of the HBV DNA carriers was found to be lower than that of Hbe carriers; therefore, it is suggested that seroconversion to HBe occurs before the resolution of HBV DNA carrier state. Superinfection with hepatitis A virus was not found to influence the elimination of HBV-carrier state, as there was no correlation found between the hepatitis A exposure and the hepatitis B virus markers in the families. The low HBV prevalence in the population (0.3%) was in contrast to the high prevalence of the families of the HBV-carrier mothers (27.1%) and family members with HBV markers (50.4%). Significant positive correlation was found in the proportion of HBV-positive children, and the HBV history of their parents. When fathers were shown to be seronegative, the probability of HBV transmission was reduced by a factor of 6 (12.5% instead of 75%) probably due to reduced viral load and possibly by other factors. Severalresults indicate, that the noncytocidal hepatitis B virus clearing mechanism suggested by Guidotti et al. [1996, 1999]was effective also in the HBV-carrier human population.
Bács-Kiskun Regional Institute of the National Service of the Chief Medical Officer, Kecskemét, Budapest, Hungary.