Sunday, April 7, 2013

Abstract. Hepatitis viral infection is hyperendemic in Egypt, western Asia and Africa. However, little is known about the status of hepatitis viruses among rural Egyptian children. Therefore, this study sought to examine the prevalence and characteristics of hepatitis viruses among symptomatic Egyptian children. Serological and molecular analyses of hepatitis viral infection were conducted in 33 children hospitalised at Mansoura University with symptomatic hepatic dysfunction (mean ± standard deviation age, 9.7±3.4 years; alanine aminotransferase level, 130±68 IU/ml). Eleven children (33%) were positive for anti-haemagglutination-IgM and were diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti‑hepatitis C virus (HCV) were detected in 9 (27%) and 7 (21%) children, respectively, indicating acute-on-chronic infection with hepatitis viruses. None of the children was positive for anti‑hepatitis B core antigen-IgM. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that all HBVs belonged to genotype D (subgenotype D1) and that HCV belonged to genotypes 4a and 1g. HBV-DNA was detected in 9 children (27%) in the pre-S/S region and in 16 children (48%) in the core promoter/precore region. The Y134F amino acid mutation in the ‘α’ determinant region was detected in all of the patients. The A1762T/G1764A double mutation, and the T1846A and G1896A single mutations were common in children with occult HBV infection. In conclusion, hepatitis viral infection, including acute-on-chronic infection with HCV and HBV, is common in Egyptian children hospitalised with acute hepatitis http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/42/4/1459

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