Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Review shines a light on the overlooked virus, hepatitis D

Viral hepatitis is a serious health condition that affects the liver. While hepatitis B and C viruses are commonly targeted by public health measures aiming to reduce the disease burden, there is another, less commonly known ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

When to get a COVID-19 booster

If you recently had COVID-19, you may be wondering if you should delay getting your booster. We asked James Moy, MD, an immunologist in the Department of Internal Medicine at RUSH who is studying the antibody levels and duration ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Universal HepB vaccination recommended for adults age 19 to 59

Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccination should be administered to adults aged 19 to 59 years and to those aged 60 years or older with risk factors for HepB, according to updated recommendations published in the April 1 issue of the ...

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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease caused by HBV hepatitis B virus which infects the liver of hominoidae, including humans, and causes an inflammation called hepatitis. 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's population, more than 2 billion people, have been infected with the hepatitis B virus. This includes 350 million chronic carriers of the virus. Transmission of hepatitis B virus results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids containing blood.

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

Hepatitis B virus is an hepadnavirus—hepa from hepatotrophic and dna because it is a DNA virus—and it has a circular genome composed of partially double-stranded DNA. The viruses replicate through an RNA intermediate form by reverse transcription, and in this respect they are similar to retroviruses. Although replication takes place in the liver, the virus spreads to the blood where virus-specific proteins and their corresponding antibodies are found in infected people. Blood tests for these proteins and antibodies are used to diagnose the infection.

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