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Virology & Mycology
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Hbc Alone Profile: Susceptibility versus Protection against Hepatitis B Virus could be associated with TNF Production

Araujo Patricia1,2*, Gonçalves Giovanna1,2, Latinni Flavia1, Barreto Jose Augusto1 and S Diaz Ricardo2

1Colsan - Associação Beneficente de Coleta de Sangue, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2Retrovirology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, Brazil

*Corresponding Author:
Patrícia Araújo
Associação Beneficente de Coleta de Sangue
Retrovirology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division
Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Avenida Indianópolis, 1260
Indianópolis, São Paulo, Brazil
Tel: 55-1150556588
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 26, 2013; Accepted date: September 10, 2013; Published date: September 16, 2013

Citation: Patricia A, Giovanna G, Flavia L, Augusto BJ, Ricardo SD (2013) Hbc Alone Profile: Susceptibility versus Protection against Hepatitis B Virus could be associated with TNF Production. Virol Mycol 2:120. doi:10.4172/2161- 0517.1000120

Copyright: © 2013 Patricia A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Background: Donors with occult HBV (Hepatitis B virus) infection, defined as those who lacked detectable HBsAg but whose exposure to HBV infection was indicated by a positive anti-HBc (HBc alone) profile and the presence of HBV DNA, are a potential source of HBV infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate HBcAg-specific T cell responses, NK cell activity and cytokine levels in blood donors with HBc alone profiles with and without detectable viral DNA. Methods: From January 2010 to December 2012, a total of 4,252 HBc alone donations were obtained. Of the 4,252 donors, 681 donors had spontaneous HBV clearance (Co/s >10,0 by chemiluminescent assay, undetectable HBV DNA and reactivity to anti-HBc in subsequent donations), 3,097 were classified as false-positive for anti-HBc (Co/ s<6,0 in chemiluminescent assay, undetectable HBV DNA and no reactivity to anti-HBc in subsequent donations), 438 were classified as having chronic HBV infection (Co/s>10,0 in chemiluminescent assay, detectable HBV DNA and reactivity to anti-HBc in subsequent donations) and 36 were OBI (anti-HBc positive and detectable HBV DNA). There were 500 healthy blood donors and 434 HBV carriers (HBsAg, anti-HBc positive and detectable HBV DNA). NK cells were tested for cytotoxicity against K562 cells, serum levels of specific cytokines (IL-8, IL-1, IL-10, IL-12, IL-6 and TNF) were assayed by flow cytometry and HBcAg-specific T cell responses were assessed by lymphoproliferation reported in stimulation index (SI) units. Results: The IL-8 and IL-12 serum levels increased significantly (p<0.001) in HBV carriers and OBI, whereas the TNF-α serum levels increased significantly (p<0.001) in spontaneous HBV resolvers compared to HBV carriers and OBI. The serum levels of IL-1 and IL-10 were similar in HBV carrier, OBI and spontaneous HBV resolvers. Higher NK cytotoxic activity was observed in spontaneous HBV resolvers compared to HBV carriers, healthy donors and OBI. TNF-α correlated with NK cell activity in spontaneous HBV resolvers. A low intensity of HBcAg-specific T cell responses was observed in healthy donors (SI<3.0) and OBI (SI=8.0 to 10.0) compared to spontaneous HBV resolvers (SI>22.0). TNF-α was correlated with HBcAg-specific T cell responses in spontaneous HBV resolvers. Conclusion: Our results suggest that TNF-α production may be associated with protection against hepatitis B virus through increased NK cell activity and HBcAg-specific T cell responses in HBc alone blood donors.

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