[Polyclonal activation due to Epstein-Barr virus superinfection in a case with chronic hepatitis B].

Oezbey S. B., Mistik R., Guercueoglu E., Oral B., Goeral G.

Mikrobiyoloji bulteni, vol.41, no.4, pp.607-12, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Journal Name: Mikrobiyoloji bulteni
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.607-12
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) often occurs subclinically during childhood, resulting in a latent infection of B lymphocytes. In this report, a chronic hepatitis B case who presented with a serologic profile mimicking acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and exhibiting transient autoantibody positivities because of the polyclonal activation of B cells due to EBV reactivation has been presented. The test results of 56 years old male patient who suffered from fatique and pain on the right upper quadrant, revealed high levels of liver enzymes (AST: 187 U/L, ALT: 569 U/L), positivity of HBsAg, anti-HBc IgG and anti-HBe, and negativity of anti-HBc IgM, HBeAg and anti-HBs. Since HBV-DNA level was found 405,974 copies/mL by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the patient was taken into follow-up. At the 6(th) month AST and ALT levels further elevated (352 U/L and 609 U/L, respectively), and anti-HBc IgM and anti-HBs became positive in addition to the previous positive markers of HBV. With the suspicion of superinfection, further laboratory investigations yielded negative results in CMV-IgM and Paul Bunnel test, while positive results in EBV anti-VCA IgM and IgG, anti-EBNA IgM and IgG, anti-p22 IgM and IgG and anti-EA IgM. In the follow-up period high levels of autoantibody positivities [rheumatoid factor (42.200 U/ml), anti-nuclear antibody (1/100) and anti-Ro-52] together with increased levels of total IgG, IgM and IgA were detected. In the following months, the levels of transaminases, total immunoglobulins and HBV-DNA have distinctively decreased, and in the 20(th) month the previous HBV profile regained (HBsAg, anti-HBc IgG and anti-HBe positive, anti-HBc IgM and anti-HBs negative, HBV-DNA: 6984 copies/ml) and the other pathological test results returned to normal. As a result, ALT increases seen during the course of chronic hepatitis B should not always be considered as HBV manifestations and the unusual serologic patterns should be evaluated as a consequence of superinfection with various viral agents.