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.
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19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
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On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
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