Hepatitis B

Nanoparticles loaded with bee venom kill HIV

(Medical Xpress)—Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of ...

Mar 08, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (31) | comments 3 | with audio podcast

Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoidea, including humans. Originally known as "serum hepatitis", the disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China. About a third of the world population has been infected at one point in their lives, including 350 million who are chronic carriers.

The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers. Perinatal infection is a major route of infection in endemic (mainly developing) countries. Other risk factors for developing HBV infection include working in a healthcare setting, transfusions, and dialysis, acupuncture, tattooing, extended overseas travel and residence in an institution. However, Hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.

The acute illness causes liver inflammation, vomiting, jaundice, and rarely, death. Chronic hepatitis B may eventually cause cirrhosis and liver cancer—a disease with poor response to all but a few current therapies. The infection is preventable by vaccination.

Hepatitis B virus is an hepadnavirus—hepa from hepatotropic (attracted to the liver) and dna because it is a DNA virus—and it has a circular genome of partially double-stranded DNA. The viruses replicate through an RNA intermediate form by reverse transcription, which practice relates them to retroviruses. Although replication takes place in the liver, the virus spreads to the blood where viral proteins and antibodies against them are found in infected people.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

New research characterizes in-flight pediatric deaths

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (UH Rainbow) found that lap infants may be at greater risk for death on a commercial airline flight. The study analyzed ...

Ibuprofen relieves women's hurt feelings, not men's

(Medical Xpress)—For years, researchers have known that physical pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help ease emotional pain, but new research suggests that ibuprofen has contrasting effects on men ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

Computer model reveals cancer's energy source

(Medical Xpress)—A computer model study reveals – for the first time – details of an energy-creating process vital and unique to cancer cells. The research holds promise for new interventions and for ...

Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

(Medical Xpress)—Like clues to a crime, specific molecules in the body can hint at exposure to toxins, infectious agents or even trauma, and so help doctors determine whether and how to treat a patient. ...

Researchers uncover clues to flu's mechanisms

A flu virus acts like a Trojan horse as it attacks and infects host cells. Scientists at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have acquired a clearer view of the well-hidden mechanism involved.