Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Advances in HBV DNA assays are key to determine best long-term treatment strategies for Hepatitis B


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.

Clinically relevant prediction and monitoring of viral resistance require the use of existing tools such as drug resistance and viral load testing. It might also have to extend to include the detection of mutations in the precore and core promoter regions as well as HBV genotyping.

Advances in molecular diagnosis of drug resistance using highly sensitive methodologies such as DNA hybridization assays can pinpoint the type of mutation responsible and, more importantly, detect upcoming viral resistance at an early stage when the variant represents only a minor fraction of the total viral population. Such new tools are especially relevant for patients at high risk for disease progression or acute exacerbation.

The diagnostic developments play important roles in HBV patient management, and in determining the best long-term treatment strategies (sequential, combined, etc.) for the use of the new drugs. At the same time, it is desirable to integrate the HBV diagnostic testing with new therapeutic agents in order to ensure optimized, tailored patient treatment.

Anita Bay | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>