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Hepatitis B virus infection.

Nat Rev Dis Primers; 4: 18035, 2018 Jun 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29877316
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a hepatotropic virus that can establish a persistent and chronic infection in humans through immune anergy. Currently, 3.5% of the global population is chronically infected with HBV, although the incidence of HBV infections is decreasing owing to vaccination and, to a lesser extent, the use of antiviral therapy to reduce the viral load of chronically infected individuals. The course of chronic HBV infection typically comprises different clinical phases, each of which potentially lasts for decades. Well-defined and verified serum and liver biopsy diagnostic markers enable the assessment of disease severity, viral replication status, patient risk stratification and treatment decisions. Current therapy includes antiviral agents that directly act on viral replication and immunomodulators, such as interferon therapy. Antiviral agents for HBV include reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which are nucleoside or nucleotide analogues that can profoundly suppress HBV replication but require long-term maintenance therapy. Novel compounds are being actively investigated to achieve the goal of HBV surface antigen seroclearance (functional cure), a serological state that is associated with a higher remission rate (thus, no viral rebound) after treatment cessation and a lower rate of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This Primer addresses several aspects of HBV infection, including epidemiology, immune pathophysiology, diagnosis, prevention and management.