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Hepatitis B

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A wave of new therapies on the horizon

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Australia antigen, which in 1967 was identified to be the hepatitis B virus surface antigen.  Although much has been accomplished over the past five decades, current antiviral therapies for chronic hepatitis B only achieve the sustained clearance of infection in a minority of patients.  Recent […]

WHO calls for urgent action to curb hepatitis

23 JULY 2015 ¦ GENEVA – On World Hepatitis Day (28 July) WHO highlights the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year, the Organization is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which together […]

Hepatitis B and C responsible for more than nine out of 10 prison diseases in the UK

UK health officials say that hepatitis B and C cases accounted for 93 percent of infectious disease reports in English prisons during 2014.  1,174 of 1,268 infectious diseases reported were either hepatitis B or C, health officials note. The number of single reports of infectious diseases made to Public Health England (PHE) has more than doubled since 2011 […]

Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus in sub-Saharan Africa: time to act

What few people thought possible little more than a decade ago is now reality: scientific and operational advances are greatly reducing the number of deaths from HIV. The number of infant infections has decreased by 58% between 2001 and 2013 and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV might well be eliminated in the next few years.1 […]

Hepatitis B Screening

In May 2015, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) updated its clinical guideline on hepatitis B virus screening prior to initiating cancer treatment. Although ASCO issued clinical recommendations in 2010, the expert panel updating the guidelines noted that there is still evidence of suboptimal hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening among patients at high risk […]

Drug prevents passage of HBV during pregnancy

The antiviral drug telbivudine prevents perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV), according to a study in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. “If we are to decrease the global burden of hepatitis B, we need to start by addressing mother-to-infant transmission, which […]

Hepatitis B and C coinfection linked to worse fibrosis than hepatitis B alone

People coinfected with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may experience more rapid and severeLIVER DISEASE progression than those with hepatitis B alone, though HBV/HCV coinfection did not appear to worsen hepatitis C progression, according to a French study presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) […]

Many Cancer Patients at Risk for Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation

In 2015, no cancer patients should be cured of their malignancy only to die of reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV),” according to Anna S. Lok, MD, the Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professor in Hepatology and Director of Clinical Hepatology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “I recommend screening all patients before starting on […]

Oral hepatitis B vaccine could become a reality

In a new study, researchers report progress toward perfecting a radical new method of producing vaccines using genetically modified corn. The approach could lead to an oral hepatitis B vaccine that requires no refrigeration and costs less than $1 per dose to manufacture. “Even though an effective injectable hepatitis B vaccine was developed more than […]

WHO issues its first hepatitis B treatment guidelines

12 MARCH 2015 ¦ GENEVA – WHO today issued its first-ever guidance for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, a viral infection which is spread through blood and body fluids, attacking the liver and resulting in an estimated 650 000 deaths each year – most of them in low- and middle-income countries. Worldwide, some 240 […]