News from Hepatitis Week of April 27, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 17

Study: Hepatitis B Patients With HIV May Be Resistant to Lamivudine

Many patients co-infected with hepatitis B and HIV may be resistant to the antiviral agent lamivudine, according to a study reported April 28 at the International Congress of Antiviral Research.

Lead researcher Angeline Bartholomeusz and her colleagues at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, are now urging that clinicians carefully monitor all co-infected patients being treated with lamivudine.

The study involved 33 co-infected patients who had been been treated for a minimum of six months with lamivudine as a component of their therapy. The researchers measured the viral load and performed DNA sequencing of the hepatitis B virus infecting the patients.

Thirteen or 39 percent of the participants demonstrated mutations in the hepatitis B virus polymerase gene associated with lamivudine resistance and had significantly raised liver enzyme levels.

Other sources: International Congress of Antiviral Research