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High prevalence of HBV genotype D in Syria and the clinical characteristics of hepatitis B e antigen-negative chronic hepatitis B

  • N. ANTAKI (a1), S. HAFFAR (a2), S. ALI DEEB (a3), F. ASSAAD (a4), R. ABOU HARB (a2), N. ZEIBANE (a5), M. NASSERELDDINE (a6), N. IBRAHIM (a7), N. ALHAJ (a2), E. JABBOUR (a8), R. AARAJ (a9), F. ANTAKI (a10) and K. KEBBEWAR (a11)...
Summary

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype D and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) negative chronic hepatitis are the most prevalent in Mediterranean countries. No data have ever been published on their prevalence in Syria, a country of intermediate endemicity for HBV. The aims of the current study were to determine the HBV genotype distribution in Syria, the prevalence of HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis and to analyse the clinical characteristics of each group. A total of 220 patients were included. Ninety-seven percent of the patients were of genotype D, and 72% were HBeAg negative. The HBeAg-negative patients were older, had a lower viral load, had more cirrhosis and the mode of contamination was known less than for HBeAg-positive patients. These findings have major implications in understanding the natural history of the infection and are of great relevance in the choice of therapy.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: N. Antaki, M.D., FRCPC, St Louis Hospital, B.P. 6448, Aleppo, Syria (Email: antaki@scs-net.org)
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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