Hepatitis B continues to be a worldwide health concern, with rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver related mortality. While developed countries have a relatively low prevalence of disease, endemic areas in Asia and Africa bear the brunt of the disease burden, and have the highest morbidity and mortality rates. The therapy as it currently stands is not ideal, and true clearance of virus is generally not achieved with nucleoside analog agents. Interferon remains a viable treatment option, but is indicated in a minority of individuals. The future of therapy will likely revolve around multi-drug combinations, and perhaps novel therapies such as therapeutic vaccines. Vaccination programs are ultimately the most important intervention in preventing new disease especially in endemic areas. The cost of treating HBV will continue to rise in the near future with combination therapies, but ultimately will lead to lower late stage liver complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)