Hepatitis B virus reactivation or reinfection associated with HIV-1 infection

J Waite, R J Gilson, I V Weller, C J Lacey, M H Hambling, A Hawkins, M Briggs, R S Tedder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, most individuals develop antibodies to HBV surface (anti-HBs) and core antigen (anti-HBc). Prevalence studies have shown that 10-18% develop anti-HBc in the absence of detectable anti-HBs. We report four such cases, all with persistence of serum anti-HBc, who had evidence of a second period of active HBV replication as demonstrated by the reappearance of serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). In one patient, an HBsAg subtype difference indicated that the second period of HBsAg-positivity was due to a reinfection. In the other cases, reactivation may also explain the findings. All cases were anti-HIV-1 seropositive at the time of reappearance of HBsAg. There is experimental evidence that anti-HBc has a protective effect against HBV infection; however, this may require intact cell-mediated immunity to be effective. HIV-1 infection may render such patients susceptible to reinfection. Alternatively, some patients with anti-HBc, but without detectable anti-HBs may have latent HBV infection. Immunosuppression associated with HIV-1 infection may allow reactivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-8
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1988


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adult
  • HIV-1
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Virus Replication

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