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      Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Nephropathy

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          A direct causal association between hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and the development of nephropathy remains controversial. Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic carriage of HBV in some individuals (particularly children) leads to the development of nephrotic syndrome with a strong male predominance, the commonest histological type being membranous nephropathy (MN). Spontaneous clearance of HBV antigens (particularly the HBeAg) leads to abrogation of proteinuria. The isolation of immune complexes in the kidney suggests that the pathogenesis of the disease may have an immune-complex basis. Recent studies showing expression of HBV viral antigens in kidney tissue suggest direct viral-induced pathological alterations and chronic immunologic injury. Biosocial studies have detected no correlation between HBV carriage and proteinuria using both quantitative and qualitative urinary protein analysis. Genetic studies of HLA class I and II genes showed a predisposition to MN but no similar correlation in those with milder degrees of proteinuria. These findings suggest that milder proteinuria is unrelated to HBV carriage or genetic factors but the development of nephropathy, particularly MN, in patients with chronic HBV carriage (HBsAg and/or HBV DNA positive) is based on an interaction of virus and host factors. Although the natural history of the disease tends to remission with preservation of renal function, there is considerable morbidity and a small but significant mortality. Use of naturally occurring cytokines (such as interferon-α2b) and other candidate therapies accelerates clearance of the virus and proteinuria. The most effective tool in reducing the incidence of the disease is the use of HBV vaccines.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Complete genomes, phylogenetic relatedness, and structural proteins of six strains of the hepatitis B virus, four of which represent two new genotypes.

          The genomes of six hepatitis B viral (HBV) strains were sequenced from 10 overlapping amplificates obtained by the polymerase chain reaction. Four of the strains, specifying subtypes ayw4 and adw4q-, represented on the basis of divergency within the S gene two new genomic groups identified by us. The other two strains, encoding adrq- and of Pacific origin, belonged to genomic group C. The relation of these genomes to 21 published human, 1 chimpanzee, and 4 rodent hepadnaviral genomes was analyzed by constructing a phylogenetic dendrogram. Thereby, the segregation of human HBV strains into six genomic groups was confirmed. A consistent grouping of the genomes compared was also obtained in dendrograms based on the P and S genes, although the branching order differed from that based on the entire genomes. Each of the two representatives of genomic groups E and F differed by 8.1 to 13.6% and by 12.8 to 15.5% from the genomes of the other groups and by 1.5 and 3.7% from each other. The two Pacific group C strains differed by 2.7% from each other and by 4.1 to 5.4% from other group C genomes, suggesting that they diverged early from the other group C genomes. The F strains formed the most divergent group of HBV genomes, which may be explained by their representing the original strains of the New World. Within the structural gene products, 17 and 34 amino acids unique for human HBV strains were recorded in the sequenced E and F strains, respectively. Most notable is the Ser81 to Ala81 substitution in an immunodominant region of HBcAg, and the four extra cysteine residues in HBsAg at residues 19, 183, 206, and 220, which might be engaged in additional disulphide bridges. Five residues shared by E and F strains were also unique for human HBV strains. Two of these, Leu127 and Ser140 in HBsAg, were the only substitutions that may explain the w4 reactivity shared by these HBV strains. Interestingly, the Ser140 substitution occurs in an immunodominant loop of the a determinant claimed to be important for the protective immune response to HBV vaccination.
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            Polyarteritis nodosa related to hepatitis B virus. A prospective study with long-term observation of 41 patients.

            Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a rare disease whose frequency has been decreasing over the past 10 years. We evaluated 41 patients with HBV-related PAN to determine the circumstances leading to infection, the clinical features of vasculitis, the prognostic factors, and the response to therapy. Most patients were first treated briefly with corticosteroids, and all were included in 2 nonrandomized prospective therapeutic trials of an antiviral agent (35 patients with vidarabine, 6 patients with interferon-alpha 2b) and plasma exchanges. The mean duration of follow-up was 69.6 +/- 44.8 months. At the end of the study, 21 (51.2%) patients had seroconverted to anti-HBeAb and 10 (24.4%) also had seroconverted to anti-HBsAb. In all, 23 (56%) patients no longer expressed serologic evidence of HBV replication. All 33 (80.5%) patients still alive at the end of follow-up recovered from PAN. Nineteen also recovered from HBV infection and were considered to be cured; 13 patients had persistent HBV infection and were considered to be in clinical recovery; and 1 patient was in remission, maintained with steroid therapy. Eight patients died during the study period; 3 deaths were directly attributable to PAN. HBV-related PAN is an acute disease, occurring shortly after infection and sharing the characteristics of classic PAN. It is not an antineutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA)-mediated vasculitis. The outcome was good for patients treated with short-term steroid therapy, antiviral agents, and plasma exchanges. We propose this protocol as the first treatment for HBV-related PAN, because it surpasses the conventional treatment with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide, which facilitates viral replication and the development of chronic HBV infection.
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              Efficacy of a mass hepatitis B vaccination program in Taiwan. Studies on 3464 infants of hepatitis B surface antigen-carrier mothers.

               D Chen,  Yuzhou Wang,  Po Lu (1988)
              To evaluate the efficacy of the mass hepatitis B vaccination program in Taiwan in interrupting perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission, 3464 randomly selected 18-month-old infant vaccinees born to hepatitis B surface antigen-carrier mothers were recruited from 9697 eligible infants during a six-month period of the program. They were divided into ten groups according to maternal infectivity and compliance with the vaccination schedule. Serum samples were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen, and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen. In 786 infants who had highly infectious mothers and who received hepatitis B immune globulin and vaccine on schedule, the protective efficacy was about 85%. The efficacy seemed to be slightly lower in those immunized off schedule. Overall, 11% of infants still carried hepatitis B surface antigen, and 81% of the infants had antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen that exceeded 10 mIU/mL in more than 90% of them. The geometric mean titers of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen were more than 200 mIU/mL in every group of infants. We conclude that the mass vaccination program is efficacious in preventing perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission and the chronic carrier state; most infant vaccinees have adequate levels of protective antibody at 18 months of age. This program is extremely significant in the control of hepatitis B virus infection in Taiwan.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                April 2004
                08 April 2004
                : 24
                : 2
                : 198-211
                Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
                77065 Am J Nephrol 2004;24:198–211
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 4, References: 115, Pages: 14
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/77065
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