Chronic viral hepatitis has emerged as one of the most common causes of disease and death worldwide. Because of their unique modes of replication and intimate association with the host immune system, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) pose challenging problems to scientists in basic and applied research as well as to clinicians engaged in disease management. Although approved antiviral therapy is available for chronic HBV, the emergence of viral resistance provides a rationale for the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents. The lack of a robust cell culture system for HCV replication and a readily accessible small-animal model of HCV infection have hampered the development of antiviral agents for HCV. Neverthe-less, new antiviral agents targeting HCV are now in preclinical and clinical development.
This monograph, providing an up-to-date overview of the field of Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment, includes contributions from internationally recognized experts in the field of viral hepatitis, and covers the current state of knowledge and practice regarding the molecular biology, immunology, biochemistry, pharmacology and clinical aspects of chronic HBV and HCV infection. The volume includes salient topics such as: the history and epidemiology of HBV and HCV; recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of viral replication; the host immune response to infection and a discussion of the use (HBV) or potential development (HCV) of vaccines; the current standard of care for chronically-infected patients; and emerging therapies and issues associated with current antiviral treatments. The latest information to researchers and clinicians actively engaged in viral hepatitis research is provided, but also sufficient background and discussion of the literature to benefit the newcomer to the field.
Table of Contents
History of viral hepatitis.- Epidemiology of chronic hepatitis viruses: hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus.- Molecular virology of hepatitis B virus.- Molecular virology of hepatitis C virus.- Immunology of hepatitis B virus.- Immunology of hepatitis C virus.- Current treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.- Current standard of care in hepatitis C virus infection.- Viral response to therapy: viral dynamics.- Investigational drugs in clinical development for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis.- Problems inherent to antiviral therapy.