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 The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>