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Future Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B Infection

Seto, Wai-Kay MRCP*; Fung, James MD*; Yuen, Man-Fung MD*,†; Lai, Ching-Lung MD*,†

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 2012 - Volume 46 - Issue 9 - p 725–734
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3182610191
Clinical Reviews

Vaccination for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and treatment for chronic hepatitis B, while effective for primary prevention and control of the disease, still have their limitations. Global coverage of HBV immunization needs improvement. Several patient populations are noted to have suboptimal seroprotective rates after HBV vaccination. There are currently several potential new vaccines undergoing animal and human studies, most notably vaccines containing immunostimulatory DNA sequences. Long-term nucleoside analogue therapy is necessary in achieving permanent virologic suppression. Potential new treatments explore new mechanisms of action, including the inhibition of hepatitis B surface antigen release, targeting antifibrotic mechanism, and immunomodulation through novel interferons and therapeutic vaccines. The clinical application of potential new vaccines and therapies would enhance the prevention of HBV infection and treatment of chronic hepatitis B.

*Department of Medicine

State Key Laboratory for Liver Research, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

W.-K.S. is a clinical investigator for trials under LG Life Science and Bristol-Myers Squibb. J.F. is an invited speaker for Bristol-Myers Squibb. M.-F.Y. is a clinical investigator for trials under LG Life Science, FibroGen, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and is an invited speaker for Bristol-Myers Squibb. C.-L.L. is a clinical investigator for trials under LG Life Science and FibroGen, and is an invited speaker for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Reprints: Ching-Lung Lai, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong (e-mail: hrmelcl@hkucc.hku.hk).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.