Background. We evaluated the clinical and virological characteristics of hepatitis A virus infection in persons concomitantly infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). Methods. We enrolled 21 patients with acute hepatitis A and chronic hepatitis with no sign of liver cirrhosis, 13 patients who were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (case B group), 8 patients who were anti-HCV positive (case C group), and 21 patients with acute hepatitis A without a preexisting liver disease (control A group). Two control groups of patients with chronic hepatitis B (control B group) or C (control C group) were also chosen. All control groups were pair-matched by age and sex with the corresponding case group. Results. Fulminant hepatitis A was never observed, and hepatitis A had a severe course in 1 patient in the case B group and in 1 patient in the control A group. Both patients recovered. On admission, HBV DNA was detected in 1 patient in the case B group (7.7%) and in 13 patients (50%) in the control B group; HCV RNA was found in no patient in the case C group and in 16 patients (81.2%) in the control C group. Of 9 patients in the case B group who were followed up for 6 months, 3 became negative for hepatitis B surface antigen and positive for hepatitis B surface antibody, 2 remained positive for hepatitis A surface antigen and negative for HBV DNA, and 4 became positive for HBV DNA with a low viral load. Of 6 patients in the case C group who were followed up for 6 months, 3 remained negative for HCV RNA, and 3 had persistently low viral loads. Conclusion. Concomitant hepatitis A was always self-limited, associated with a marked inhibition of HBV and HCV genomes, and possibly had a good prognosis for the underlying chronic hepatitis. © 2006 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.
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