Author(s): Trpo C, Chan HL, Lok A, Trpo C, Chan HL, Lok A
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Abstract Hepatitis B virus infection is a major public health problem worldwide; roughly 30\% of the world's population show serological evidence of current or past infection. Hepatitis B virus is a partly double-stranded DNA virus with several serological markers: HBsAg and anti-HBs, HBeAg and anti-HBe, and anti-HBc IgM and IgG. It is transmitted through contact with infected blood and semen. A safe and effective vaccine has been available since 1981, and, although variable, the implementation of universal vaccination in infants has resulted in a sharp decline in prevalence. Hepatitis B virus is not cytopathic; both liver damage and viral control--and therefore clinical outcome--depend on the complex interplay between virus replication and host immune response. Overall, as much as 40\% of men and 15\% of women with perinatally acquired hepatitis B virus infection will die of liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition to decreasing hepatic inflammation, long-term antiviral treatment can reverse cirrhosis and reduce hepatocellular carcinoma. Development of new therapies that can improve HBsAg clearance and virological cure is warranted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases and Diagnosis