- 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California (Dr Wong); Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System, Palo Alto, California (Dr Wong); Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, New Jersey (Drs Kaufman and Meyer and Mr Niles); and Tuberculosis Section, Division of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Alameda County Public Health Department, San Leandro, California (Dr Chitnis).
Context: Underlying chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection increases the risk of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) when receiving tuberculosis therapies. Prevalence of HBV and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) coinfection is not well reported and no studies have evaluated testing patterns for and prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection in the United States.
Objective: To evaluate patterns of HBV and LTBI testing and prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection in the United States.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Quest Diagnostics clinical laboratory data, 2014-2020.
Patients: Chronic HBV infection was defined as any combination of 2 positive HBV surface antigen, HBV e antigen, or detectable HBV DNA tests at least 6 months apart. LTBI was defined as a positive QuantiFERON-TB or T-SPOT.TB test without evidence of active tuberculosis infection.
Main outcome measurements: Testing patterns for chronic HBV infection and LTBI and prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection were evaluated from 2016 through 2020 and stratified by age, sex, and race and ethnicity.
Results: Among 89 259 patients with chronic HBV infection, 9508 (10.7%) were tested for LTBI, among whom prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection was 19.6%, more than twice the observed prevalence of LTBI in patients with no chronic HBV infection in our cohort. Among 394 817 LTBI patients, 127 414 (32.3%) were tested for HBV, among whom prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection was 1.5%, approximately 3 times higher than prevalence of HBV infection in patients with no LTBI. The HBV-LTBI coinfection prevalence was highest among Asian Americans and older individuals.
Limitations: The HBV-LTBI coinfection prevalence was likely underestimated because of suboptimal awareness and testing among at-risk populations.
Conclusion: Among US individuals with chronic HBV infection or LTBI, prevalence of HBV-LTBI coinfection is substantial and highlights the need of testing for HBV-LTBI coinfection to mitigate risk of DILI associated with tuberculosis medications in patients with chronic HBV infection.