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Progress and Prospects of Anti-HBV Gene Therapy Development

Wits/SAMRC Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, School of Pathology, Health Sciences Faculty, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tatsuo Kanda
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17589-17610;
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Hepatitis Research)
PDF [1049 KB, uploaded 31 July 2015]


Despite the availability of an effective vaccine against hepatitis B virus (HBV), chronic infection with the virus remains a major global health concern. Current drugs against HBV infection are limited by emergence of resistance and rarely achieve complete viral clearance. This has prompted vigorous research on developing better drugs against chronic HBV infection. Advances in understanding the life cycle of HBV and improvements in gene-disabling technologies have been impressive. This has led to development of better HBV infection models and discovery of new drug candidates. Ideally, a regimen against chronic HBV infection should completely eliminate all viral replicative intermediates, especially covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). For the past few decades, nucleic acid-based therapy has emerged as an attractive alternative that may result in complete clearance of HBV in infected patients. Several genetic anti-HBV strategies have been developed. The most studied approaches include the use of antisense oligonucleotides, ribozymes, RNA interference effectors and gene editing tools. This review will summarize recent developments and progress made in the use of gene therapy against HBV. View Full-Text
Keywords: HBV; gene therapy; RNAi; gene editing; antisense oligonucleotides; ribozymes HBV; gene therapy; RNAi; gene editing; antisense oligonucleotides; ribozymes

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Maepa, M.B.; Roelofse, I.; Ely, A.; Arbuthnot, P. Progress and Prospects of Anti-HBV Gene Therapy Development. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 17589-17610.

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