Abhipsa Kar and Deoraj Sharma
Chronic hepatitis B virus infection poses a significant global public health challenge, leading to substantial liver-related illness and death. This infection can be acquired either at birth or through person-to-person transmission later in life. Vaccination has proven to be highly effective in preventing infection of the hepatitis B virus.
Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection is prevalent worldwide and a major contributor to liver disease, particularly in Southeast Asia. The use of vaccines and antiviral medications, such as nucleoside or nucleotide drugs, can effectively decrease the occurrence of new infections and the development of liver disease in individuals with HBV who regularly follow long-term suppressive treatment. The primary risk factor for disease progression in individuals with chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a high concentration of hepatitis B virus DNA in the bloodstream. However, various clinical and viral factors also impact the outcomes of the disease. Alongside liver biochemistry, virological markers, and abdominal ultrasonography, non-invasive methods for evaluating liver fibrosis are becoming increasingly significant as an assessment tool. There are ongoing efforts to develop new therapeutic targets and molecules for early clinical trials to cure HBV infection. A promising approach to achieve a lasting and comprehensive cure may involve combining therapies that target various stages of the HBV life cycle, along with immunomodulators. In the pursuit of a cure for hepatitis B infection, it is evident that a combination of new medications will be necessary. The article reflects on curative treatments and explores the compounds currently undergoing clinical trials for hepatitis B. World Health Organization's objective of eliminating the hepatitis B virus as a worldwide health concern by 2030 can be achieved by leveraging existing vaccines, therapies, and a focused effort on enhancing healthcare access.
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