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The influence of hepatitis B virus on antiviral treatment with interferon and ribavirin in Asian patients with hepatitis C virus/hepatitis B virus coinfection: a meta-analysis

Jun-Ying Liu, Yun-Jian Sheng, Huai-Dong Hu, Qing Zhong, Jing Wang, Shi-Wen Tong, Zhi Zhou, Da-Zhi Zhang, Peng Hu* and Hong Ren*

Author Affiliations

Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute for Viral Hepatitis, Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Education, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400010, China

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:186  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-186

Published: 6 September 2012



Clinical and laboratory studies have indicated that coinfection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can suppress one another, eliciting a dominant disease phenotype. To assess whether HBV can influence the antiviral effect of treatment on HCV, we performed a meta-analysis to comparatively analyze the response to interferon plus ribavirin treatment in patients with HBV/HCV coinfection and HCV mono-infection.


Published studies in the English-language medical literature that involved cohorts of HBV/HCV coinfection and HCV mono-infection were obtained by searching Medline, Cochrane and Embase databases. Studies that compared the efficacy of treatment with interferon plus ribavirin in HBV/HCV coinfection and HCV mono-infection were assessed. End-of-treatment virological response (ETVR), sustained virological response (SVR), HCV relapse rate, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization rate were compared between HBV/HCV coinfection and HCV mono-infection patients.


Five trials involving 705 patients were analyzed. At the end of follow-up serum ALT normalization rates in patients with HCV mono-infection were significantly higher than in patients with HBV/HCV coinfection (odds ratio (OR) = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.40–0.80, P = 0.001). The ETVR and SVR achieved in HBV/HCV coinfection patients were comparable to those in HCV mono-infection patients (OR = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.37–2.82, P = 0.96 and OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.62–1.21, P = 0.38, respectively). The rate of relapse for HCV or HCV genotype 1 was not significantly different between HBV/HCV coinfection patients and HCV mono-infection patients (OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 0.98–2.47, P = 0.06; HCV genotype 1: OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.17–4.91, P = 0.19).


Treatment with interferon and ribavirin achieves similar ETVR and SVR in HBV/HCV coinfection and HCV mono-infection. HBV/HCV coinfection patients had distinctively lower end of follow-up serum ALT normalization.

Coinfection; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Interferon; Ribavirin