Journal of medical virology 2016 08 0989(2) 257-266 doi 10.1002/jmv.24641
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the genetic characteristics of both viruses among pre-HIV-treatment patients in Harare, Zimbabwe. This cross-sectional survey involved 176 remnant plasma samples collected from consenting HIV patients (median age 35 [18-74]) between June and September 2014. HBV seromarkers were determined by high-sensitivity chemiluminescence assays. Molecular evolutionary analyses were conducted on the basal core promoter/precore (BCP/PC) and S regions of HBV, as well as part of the HIV pol region. Of the 176 participants (65.7% female), 19 (10.8%) were positive for HBsAg (median 0.033 IU/ml (IQR 0.01-415). The HBsAg incidence was higher in men than women (P = 0.009). HBsAg-positive subjects had lower median CD4 counts (P = 0.016). HBV DNA was detectable in 12 HBsAg-positive samples (median 3.36 log cp/ml (2.86-4.51), seven being amplified and sequenced. All isolates were subgenotype A1 without HBV drug resistance mutations but each had at least one BCP/PC mutation. PreS deletion mutants and small S antigen variants M133I/T and D144G were identified. Of the 164 HIV isolates successfully genotyped, 163 (99.4%) were HIV-1 subtype C and only one was HIV-1 subtype F1. Sixteen (9.8%) had at least one drug resistance mutation, predominantly non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-related mutations, observed mostly among female participants. This study shows that co-infection with HBV is present among HIV patients enrolling into HIV care in Zimbabwe, suggesting that HBV screening and monitoring programmes be strengthened in this context. J. Med. Virol. 89:257-266, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.