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Immunological and molecular epidemiological characteristics of acute and fulminant viral hepatitis A

Author(s): Hussain Zahid | Husain Syed | Almajhdi Fahad | Kar Premashis

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 254;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: acute hepatitis A | fulminant hepatitis A | genotype | viral load | RT-PCR

Abstract Background Hepatitis A virus is an infection of liver; it is hyperendemic in vast areas of the world including India. In most cases it causes an acute self limited illness but rarely fulminant. There is growing concern about change in pattern from asymptomatic childhood infection to an increased incidence of symptomatic disease in the adult population. Objective In-depth analysis of immunological, viral quantification and genotype of acute and fulminant hepatitis A virus. Methods Serum samples obtained from 1009 cases of suspected acute viral hepatitis was employed for different biochemical and serological examination. RNA was extracted from blood serum, reverse transcribed into cDNA and amplified using nested PCR for viral quantification, sequencing and genotyping. Immunological cell count from freshly collected whole blood was carried out by fluorescence activated cell sorter. Results Fulminant hepatitis A was mostly detected with other hepatic viruses. CD8+ T cells count increases in fulminant hepatitis to a significantly high level (P = 0.005) compared to normal healthy control. The immunological helper/suppressor (CD4+/CD8+) ratio of fulminant hepatitis was significantly lower compared to acute cases. The serologically positive patients were confirmed by RT-PCR and total of 72 (69.2%) were quantified and sequenced. The average quantitative viral load of fulminant cases was significantly higher (P < 0.05). There was similar genotypic distribution in both acute and fulminant category, with predominance of genotype IIIA (70%) compared to IA (30%). Conclusions Immunological factors in combination with viral load defines the severity of the fulminant hepatitis A. Phylogenetic analysis of acute and fulminant hepatitis A confirmed genotypes IIIA as predominant against IA with no preference of disease severity.
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