What is the pathogenesis of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) infection?

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

The pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of hepatitis B infection are due to the interaction of the virus and the host immune system. The immune system attacks HBV and causes liver injury, the result of an immunologic reaction when activated CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes recognize various HBV-derived peptides on the surface of the hepatocytes. Impaired immune reactions (eg, cytokine release, antibody production) or a relatively tolerant immune status result in chronic hepatitis. In particular, a restricted T-cell–mediated lymphocytic response occurs against the HBV-infected hepatocytes. [17, 18]


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