Occult hepatitis B virus infection

G. Raimondo, C. Balsano, A. Craxì, F. Farinati, M. Levrero, M. Mondelli, T. Pollicino, G. Squadrito, C. Tiribelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many studies have shown that hepatitis B virus infection may also occur in hepatitis B surface antigen-negative patients. This occult infection has been identified both in patients with cryptogenic liver disease and in patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic hepatitis, and much evidence suggests that it may be a risk factor of hepatocellular carcinoma development. However, several aspects of this occult infection remain unclear, such as its prevalence and the factor(s) involved in the lack of circulating hepatitis B surface antigen. Moreover, it is uncertain whether the occult hepatitis B virus infection may contribute to chronic liver damage, considering that it is usually associated with a suppressed viral replication. Evidence and hypotheses concerning this fascinating field of bio-medical research are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-826
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • HBsAg-negative
  • HBV genome
  • Liver disease
  • Liver DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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