Impact of Hepatitis B virus infection on CD4 T-cell count and ALT in HBV infected individuals: Initial insight from an underprivileged setting

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria


Background: This study aims to investigate the relationship between CD4+ T-cell counts, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and HBV-DNA in acute and chronic HBV patients across varying serum ALT levels. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 200 participants were enrolled, with an equal distribution of acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive cases. HBsAg, absolute CD4+ T-cell count, HBsAg, ALT and HBV-DNA were measured using standard methods. Cases were grouped into acute or chronic HBV subjects using qualitative laboratory tests. Results: The study found a high prevalence of abnormal ALT levels in HBV-infected cases, with 100% of acute cases and 75% of chronic cases showing increased ALT levels. The median levels of ALT, CD4+ T-cell count, and HBV viral load were compared between acute and chronic HBV-positive cases. The results showed that ALT levels correlated positively with HBV-DNA and CD4 T-cell count, while HBV viral load correlated positively with CD4 T-cell count in acute infected cases only. Interestingly, increasing viral hepatitis B load was associated with a decreased CD4+ T-cell count and increased ALT levels. Conclusion: Our findings shed light on the dynamic nature of HBV infection, highlighting differences between acute and chronic cases in terms of liver enzyme levels, immune responses, and viral replication. Abnormal ALT levels may serve as an important clinical indicator of active HBV replication and its potential impact on the immune system. Monitoring these parameters aids in assessing and managing HBV-infected individuals, particularly those with abnormal liver enzyme levels


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