Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a circular DNA virus endemic in many parts of the world. It is a risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Acute HBV infection is most often subclinical and asymptomatic. Symptomatic patients (~33%) may experience fever, nausea and/or jaundice. Rarely (1%) it causes acute liver failure 3.
Route of transmission
The most common route of transmission is regionally-dependent. In endemic areas, vertical transmission from mother to child is more common. In other areas, contaminated needles, blood products, and unprotected sex is more common.
- genotype A: sub-Saharan Africa
- genotype B: Japan and East Asia
- genotype C: China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia
- most closely associated with HCC 2
- genotype D: Eastern Europe, North Africa, Russia, Middle East, India
- genotype E: West Africa
- genotypes F, G, H: Central and South America
Treatment and prognosis
Vaccination programs have been effective in many parts of the world to decrease the incidence of disease.
Patients with chronic hepatitis B may benefit from a hepatocellular carcinoma screening program.
Acute infection with the hepatitis B virus may result in acute hepatitis.
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- 2. McMahon BJ. The influence of hepatitis B virus genotype and subgenotype on the natural history of chronic hepatitis B. Hepatol Int. 2009;3 (2): 334-42. doi:10.1007/s12072-008-9112-z - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Liang TJ. Hepatitis B: the virus and disease. Hepatology. 2009;49 (S5): S13-21. doi:10.1002/hep.22881 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation