Understanding immune reaction to the hepatitis B virus

A collaboration of researchers from Japan and Malaysia has further clarified the immune response to hepatitis B virus through in vivo experimentation.

The system in mammals defends against infection from viruses and other microbial infections. Unfortunately, the human to the hepatitis B (HBV) is not yet fully understood. Without vaccination, hepatitis B causes both acute and chronic infections of the liver, and can lead to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer. To gain a deeper understanding of how the reacts to HBV, researchers from several institutions in Japan and Malaysia led by Professor Hiroyuki Oshiumi of Kumamoto University performed in vivo experiments on the tree shrew, a small mammal that is also prone to HBV infection.

Infection was successful in just over half (55%) of the animals injected with the virus suggesting that a large portion of tree shrews have a natural immunity to HBV. The cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), which plays an important role in the activation and modulation of the immune system and in impeding the ability of a virus to replicate, was found early (1 day after infection) in the infected population. This is thought to be caused by the activation of hepatic natural killer (NK) cells in reaction to HBV infection. Further analysis added to the growing body of evidence supporting claims of antiviral actions of IFN-gamma on HBV by confirming that IFN-gamma prompts hepatocyte expression of the DDX60 gene. Expression of this gene causes the degeneration of HBV RNA.

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HOMA2-IR Tied to Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Hepatitis B

HOMA2-IR independently linked to HCC in patients without overt metabolic abnormalities

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Insulin resistance assessed by homeostasis model assessment index (HOMA2-IR) correlates with the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Jung Hee Kim, from the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined whether HOMA2-IR can stratify HCC risk in a retrospective cohort of 1,696 patients with chronic HBV.

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Hepatitis B positive women suffer marital threat and divorce

According to a research finding by Mr Charles Ampong Adjei, a public health specialist, women who test positive for hepatitis B infection suffer psychological and social afflictions including depression, anxiety, and stigmatisation.

The Valley View University lecturer revealed this at a maiden scientific based workshop organised by Hepatitis Alliance of Ghana which took off on the 9th of November at the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate premises.

He continued to say that: “ There is no doubt that hepatitis B infection is negatively affecting social relationships particularly among discordant couples”. ” The marriages of some women in Ghana are threatened and others divorced following their “HBV” positivity” : He added.

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Dynavax says FDA rejects its hepatitis B vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Dynavax Technologies Corp’s marketing application for its hepatitis B vaccine, Heplisav-B, for the second time in three years, sending the company’s shares tumbling 71 percent in premarket trade.

The drug developer said on Monday it received a “complete response letter” from the FDA, seeking information about certain “adverse events” during clinical trials, among other clarifications.

There was no request from the FDA for additional clinical trials and there were no apparent concerns about rare serious events, Dynavax said.

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