Atypical Serological Profiles in Hepatitis B Infections: Investigation of S Gene Mutations in Cases with Concurrently Positive for HBsAg and Anti-HBs

Creative Commons License


MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.50, no.4, pp.535-543, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.32197
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.535-543
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes different clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic carriage to fulminant or chronic hepatitis. Serological tests are widely used for the diagnosis of HBV infections to detect viral markers. However, facing with atypical serological profiles in some patients leads to problems in interpreting of the results and management of the patients. The aims of this study were to investigate the atypical serologic profiles seen in patients screened for HBV infection and the S gene mutations in patients with concurrent positivity of HBsAg and anti-HBs. A total of 592 sera from patients (332 male, 260 female; age range: 13-84 years, mean age: 43.9 years) prediagnosed as HBV infection between January to September 2013, and screened for HBV markers (HBsAg, anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe, anti-HBc- IgM, anti-HBc-total and HBV-DNA) were included in the study. Of those samples 364 were screened only for HBsAg and anti-HBs markers. S gene mutations were investigated by direct sequencing method in sera which were concurrent positive for HBsAg and anti-HBs. In our study, 5.2% (31/592) of the sera yielded atypical serologic profiles. Of these 13 cases were concurrently positive for HBsAg and anti-HBs; nine were HBeAg positive, anti-HBe and HBV-DNA negative; eight were HBeAg, anti-HBe and HBV-DNA positive; and one was HBsAg and anti-HBs negative, anti-HBe and HBV-DNA positive. The rate of concurrent positivity of HBsAg and anti-HBs was 3.6% (13/364), while 76.9% (10/13) of those cases were also positive for HBV-DNA. DNA sequencing was performed for seven out of 10 samples which were positive for HBsAg, anti-HBs and HBV-DNA, however three samples were not used because of the low amounts. Sequence analysis of seven samples showed S gene mutations in two samples, one was sS143L with sS193L, a HBV vaccine escape mutation, and the other was sP120R, a HBV immune escape mutation. Of the patients 2.7% (10/364) was negative for both HBsAg and anti-HBs; in which nine were HBV-DNA negative and anti-HBe positive, while one was positive for both HBV-DNA and anti-HBe. The rate of concurrent positivity of HBeAg and anti-HBe was found as 1.4% (8/592), and all of these samples were HBV-DNA positive. No single positivity for HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs or HBV-DNA was not detected in any of the patients. In conclusion, HBsAg and anti-HBs concurrent positivity was the most frequently detected atypical profile in our study (3.6%), and in some (2/7) of these patients S gene mutations were determined.