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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1992;14(1): 48-58.
A study on the relationship between HBeAg and hepatitis B virus DNAamong healthy HBsAg carries.
Yoo Sik Hahm, Hai Rim Shin, Hyung Jong Park, Sung Ryul Kim
The study was carried out at 3 health centers in Ulsan city to investigate the relationship between HBeAg, which is considered to be associated with infectivity, and hepatitis B viral DNA, which seems to be related with viral replication, among those who received health examination. Two hundred of HBsAg carriers, randomly sampled, from populatin 6,408 who have received health examination were examined serological tests including HBeAg, liver function test(AST, ALT and γ-GTP), IgG Anti-HBc, DNA probe(Dot blot hybridization method) to detect HBV DNA and Anti-HCV to investigate coinfection rate with hepatitis C virus simultaneously from December 18, 1991 to April 10, 1992. Results are as follows : 1. The prevalence of HBs Antigenemia(HBsAg Positive) was 6.2% (400 persons) and the prevalence of Anti-HBc was 28.1% (1,798 persons) among 6,408 population who are examined by serological test with HBsAg and Anti-HBs. 2. Male to female ratio was 0.9 : 1 and average age was 29.5 in male, 30.9 in female among study subjects. 3. Among 200 HBsAg carriers, HBeAg positive rate was 36% (72 subjects). 4. The result of LFT carried out HBeAg positive 72 subjects was not significant statistically. (ALT : x2=3.64 p>0.05, AST : x2=3.85 p>0.05, γ-GTP:X2=0.12 p=0.73). 5. Among 72 HBeAg carriers, positive rate of IgG Anti-HBc was 88.9% (64 subjects) : it is likely to be chronic hepatitis. 6. Among 200 HBsAg carriers, HBV DNA was detected in 44 HBsAg carriers, 20 in male and 24 in female by using DNA probe(Dot blot hybridization method) : the level of HBV DNA was 31.2 pg/75μl~4.00 pg/75 μl. 7. Among 72 HBeAg carriers-generally repressents hepatitis B viral infectivity, hepatitis B virus(HBV) DNA-marker of hepatitis B virus replication was detected in 37 subjects : HBV DNA level under 500 pg/75 μl was highest frequency(14 subjects). 8. Though the LFT of HBV DNA positive sera was not significant statistically, the lower was level of HBV DNA, the more abnormal was LFT ; it represents chronic active hepatitis. 9. The co-infection rate of HBV and hepatitis C virus(HCV) was 4% (8 subjects) in HBsAg carriers. Consequently, it was general concept that HBeAg is the marker of infectivity in HBsAg carriers but HBV DNA was detected in some HBeAg negative sera, and not detected in some HBeAg positive sera ; because of the gap between HBeAg-marker of infectivity generally, and replication of HBV DNA-actually infective, it is unreasonable to determine the infectivity by HBeAg only. The infectivity of HBV in HBsAg carriers was may be determined by detection of HBV DNA only, not HBeAg in clinical fields and various examinations.


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