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Reuters Health Information (2006-03-27): HBV can infect and replicate within ovum

Clinical

HBV can infect and replicate within ovum

Last Updated: 2006-03-27 14:10:17 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can infect and replicate within the ovum and this may be a key mechanism for vertical transmission of the virus, according to a report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for February.

Vertical transmission is known to play an important role in the spread of HBV in Asian countries. Infection of the ovum with HBV has been proposed as a mechanism for vertical transmission, but few studies have explored this possibility.

Dr. Feng Ye and colleagues, from the First Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University in China, used immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques to examine the presence of HBV in the ovaries of 30 patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.

The authors found evidence of HBV surface antigen, core antigen, and DNA in the ovaries. All three were found in the ovum, although the core antigen and the DNA seemed to be present at different stages.

Further studies are needed to determine how HBV infects the ovum and whether this infection results in vertical transmission of the virus, the authors conclude.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;194:387-392.

 
 
 
 
                 
 
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