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The Character of Chronic Hepatitis B Infection Makes Therapy Challenging

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The character of chronic hepatitis B infection makes therapy challenging.

"The clinical management of chronic hepatitis B infection has entered a new era with the introduction and widespread use of oral nucleoside analogues such as lamivudine and nucleotides such as adefovir dipivoxil. From this, new challenges have now emerged in terms of preventing antiviral drug resistance, promoting viral clearance and improving long-term survival. For example, the natural history of nucleoside or nucleotide analogue-associated hepatitis B virus resistant mutants has yet to be determined," investigators in Australia report.

"Furthermore, the increasing prevalence of HBeAg negative disease with its reduced response to current therapies represents an ongoing challenge to attempts to improve standard of care," added R. Chin and colleagues, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory.

"There is increasing recognition of the pivotal role that viral load and genotype, and their complex interactions with the host immune response, play in determining the outcome of these treatment interventions. The purpose of this paper is to highlight several key factors that should be considered in the context of future clinical research and management of chronic hepatitis B," Chin and coauthors said.

Chin and colleagues published their study in Reviews in Medical Virology (Treatment of chronic hepatitis B: current challenges and future directions. Rev Med Virol, 2003;13(4):255-272).

For additional information, contact S. Locarnini, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, 10 Wreckyn St., Melbourne, Vic 3051, Australia.

The publisher of the journal Reviews in Medical Virology can be contacted at: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., the Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester PO19 8SQ, W Sussex, UK.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of , Biotechnology, Hepatitis B Virus, Infectious Disease, and Virology. This article was prepared by Virus Weekly editors from staff and other reports.

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