Occult HBV infection in HIV-infected adults and evaluation of pooled NAT for HBV

T. R. Dinesha, J. Boobalan, S. Sivamalar, D. Subashini, S. S. Solomon, K. G. Murugavel, P. Balakrishnan, D. M. Smith, S. Saravanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study aimed to determine the prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus infection among HIV-infected persons and to evaluate the use of a pooling strategy to detect occult HBV infection in the setting of HIV infection. Five hundred and two HIV-positive individuals were tested for HBV, occult HBV and hepatitis C and D with serologic and nucleic acid testing (NAT). We also evaluated a pooled NAT strategy for screening occult HBV infection among the HIV-positive individuals. The prevalence of HBV infection among HIV-positive individuals was 32 (6.4%), and occult HBV prevalence was 10%. The pooling HBV NAT had a sensitivity of 66.7% and specificity of 100%, compared to HBV DNA NAT of individual samples. In conclusion, this study found a high prevalence of occult HBV infection among our HIV-infected population. We also demonstrated that pooled HBV NAT is highly specific, moderately sensitive and cost-effective. As conventional HBV viral load assays are expensive in resource-limited settings such as India, pooled HBV DNA NAT might be a good way for detecting occult HBV infection and will reduce HBV-associated complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-723
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of viral hepatitis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • HBV
  • HIV
  • occult HBV
  • pooled NAT and resource-limited settings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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