Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Studies Examine Elimination of Hepatitis B and C

03.04.2009
Two new studies in the April issue of Hepatology explore the ways that hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be cleared from patients’ bodies. Hepatology is a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The articles are also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

Both HBV and HCV are global health problems. They can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer and they cause millions of deaths each year. Treatments to contain or cure these infections have been difficult to find. Researchers continue to explore potential therapies and the immune system response to the diseases.

The first new study sheds light on the immunological response to coinfection with HBV and HCV. Researchers led by Evangelista Sagnelli of Naples, Italy, report that for patients with chronic HCV, HBV superinfection can lead to clearance of the HCV.

They compared 29 HCV patients to 29 people, matched by age, gender and risk factors, who did not have HCV. All of the patients developed acute HBV during the same time period. The patients with HCV were more likely to have a severe course of illness, and one died of liver failure. However, nearly a quarter (six out of 24) emerged HCV-free.

“Extensive acute hepatocellular necrosis, although life-threatening, may lead to a clearance of chronic HCV infection,” the authors report. Still, the severity of acute HBV in HCV patients raises “the concern that this clinical event could become an emerging health care problem in countries with a wide spread of both HBV and HCV infection,” they write.

“Further efforts should be made to extend the use of HBV vaccination in patients with chronic HCV infection” they also suggest.

The second study, headed by Maurizia Brunetto of Pisa, Italy, recommends interferon-based therapies as a first-line approach for patients with chronic HBV, because these have the best chance of clearing hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg). The reduction of HBsAg serum levels leading to HBsAg clearance is the hallmark of a newly achieved immune control of the infection by mean of a significant reduction of virus infected hepatocytes.

The researchers retrospectively investigated the relationship between treatment regimens and changing levels of HbsAg in 386 patients in a multinational study.

“Significantly more patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2a (21 percent) or peginterferon alfa-2a plus lamivudine (17 percent) achieved HBsAg levels under 100 IU/mL at the end of treatment compared with lamivudine (1 percent),” they report.

“HBsAg clearance represents the best possible and closest to cure outcome of antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B, but is realistic almost exclusively among patients receiving interferon-based regimens, which are recommended as a first-line therapeutic approach,” they conclude. Interferon therapy switches the chronic active hepatitis B patient in the non-active HBV carrier who lose serum HBsAg during the years after the end of therapy. If the case occurs before the development of liver cirrhosis it endows the patient with the same life expectancy of the non-HBV infected subject.

Article: “HBV Superinfection in HCV Chronic Carriers, A Disease That Is Frequently Severe But Associated With the Eradication of HCV.” Sagnelli, Evangelista; Coppola, Nicola; Pisaturo, Mariantonietta; Masiello, Addolorata; Tonziello, Gilda; Sagnelli, Caterina; Messina, Vincenzo; Filippini, Pietro. Hepatology; April 2009.

Article: “Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigen Levels—A Guide to Sustained Response to Peginterferon Alfa-2a in HBeAg-negative Chronic Hepatitis B.” Brunetto, Maurizia; Moriconi, Francesco; Bonino, Ferruccio; Lau, George; Farci, Patrizia; Yurdaydin, Cihan; Piratvisuth, Teerha; Luo, Kangxian; Yuming, Wang; Hadziyannis, Stephanos; Wolf, Eva; McCloud, Philip; Batria, Richard; Marcellin, Patrick. Hepatology; April 2009.

Sean Wagner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement

27.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Did you know that infrared heat and UV light contribute to the success of your barbecue?

27.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>