What progress has been made in decreasing the prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B)?

Updated: Aug 01, 2018
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Since the 1970s, considerable progress has also been made regarding the knowledge of the epidemiology, virology, natural history, and treatment of the hepatitis B virion, a hepatotropic virus particle (see the image below). In addition, ongoing vaccination programs have been successful in many countries in decreasing the prevalence of HBV disease (eg, Taiwan). [4] (See Etiology, Epidemiology, Workup, Treatment, and Medication.)

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a hepadnavirus, highly Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a hepadnavirus, highly resistant to extremes of temperature and humidity, that invades the hepatocytes. The viral genome is a partially double-stranded, circular DNA linked to a DNA polymerase that is surrounded by an icosahedral nucleocapsid and then by a lipid envelope. Embedded within these layers are numerous antigens that are important in disease identification and progression. Within the nucleocapsid are the hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) and precore hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), and on the envelope is the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) courtesy of Graham Colm and the Wikipedia, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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