For the 350 million people chronically infected with HBV, the two therapeutic approaches currently available are immunomodulatory agents and antiviral chemotherapy. The first therapeutic agent was interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), whose dual mode of action includes both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects. Unfortunately, extended IFN-alpha treatment is effective in no more than 15-25% of patients, and is associated with a wide spectrum of adverse reactions, although these limitations will be partially obviated by the likely approval of peginterferon-alpha for use in chronic HBV in the near future.
It is the nucleoside analogue named lamivudine that has become the gold standard worldwide for use in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Nevertheless, lamivudine-induced decreases in viral load are difficult to sustain over time due to occurrence of viral drug resistance. The drug resistance is associated with mutations in the very conserved catalytic polymerase /reverse transcriptase domain of the gene located at the YMDD motif.
The recent arrival of nucleotide analogue of HBV therapy is adefovir dipivoxil, whose antiviral efficacy was confirmed in large-scale clinical trials in both HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B patients, achieving more than a 3-log decrease in viral load, drop in serum ALT levels, and improvement in liver histology after one to two years of treatment. Although virus resistant mutants did not seem to occur in adefovir-treated patients in 48 weeks and then up to 60 weeks of treatment, this did not turn out to be the case upon treatment after 96 weeks. The newly discovered mutant to adefovir (rtN236T) is located downstream from the YMDD motif in the D domain of the viral polymerase.
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy