Meeting the Challenge of Eliminating Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Royal Melbourne Hospital at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne 3000, Australia
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne 3000, Australia
Directorate, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne 3000, Australia
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
Romark Laboratory, Tampa, FL 33607, USA
Global Virus Network, Baltimore, MD 21201-1009, USA
INSERM Unit 1052—Cancer Research Center of Lyon, 69000 Lyon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(4), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10040260
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis B Virus Infection: An Update on Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention)
Over 257 million people live with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and there is no known cure. The effective preventative vaccine has no impact on existing infection. Despite the existence of drugs which efficiently suppress viral replication, treatment is usually life-long and finite therapies that cure HBV infection are urgently required. However, even if such therapies were available today, it is unlikely they would reach all of those who need it most, due to chronic hepatitis B (CHB) being largely undiagnosed across the globe and to the dire need for health systems promoting access to therapy. Considerable challenges to developing and implementing an effective HBV cure remain. Nonetheless, important advances towards a cure are being made, both in the development of a multitude of new therapeutic agents currently undergoing clinical trials, and through the establishment of a new global initiative dedicated to an HBV cure, ICE-HBV, that is working together with existing organisations to fast-track an HBV cure available to all.