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Hepatitis B virus: Lessons learned from the virus life cycle

  • Stephan Urban
  • Ulrike Protzer
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)

Abstract

The human hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the prototype member of the family of hepadnaviridae, small enveloped viruses which replicate their compact and highly organized DNA genome via reverse transcription. In humans, HBV may cause inflammatory liver disease, hepatitis B. With more than 350 million chronically infected people at high risk to develop liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, HBV is one of the most important human pathogens. In recent years, the viral life cycle has been characterised in considerable detail, our understanding of immunology and pathogenesis of hepatitis B has largely improved, and nucleos(t)ide analogues have been established as antivirals. However, current treatment options are still limited because they only rarely eliminate the virus, and thus long-term treatment is required. Following a general introduction, we therefore discuss which steps in the viral life cycle may serve as targets for novel therapeutic strategies.

Keywords

Chronic Hepatitis Virus Life Cycle ADEFOVIR DIPIVOXIL Hepatitis Delta Virus Virus Envelope Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Urban
    • 1
  • Ulrike Protzer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Virology, Otto Meyerhof ZentrumUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institute of VirologyTechnical University Munich / Helmholtz Center Munich — National Research Center for Environmental HealthMönchenGermany

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