Open Access eBooks is inviting researchers working in the areas of hepatitis to submit their book chapter for the publication in volume 1 of an eBook Hepatitis: A Global Health Concern.
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Chronic viral hepatitis is a syndrome of persisting hepatotropic viral infection usually associated with chronic inflammation, hepatocyte injury and progressive fibrosis. Chronic viral hepatitis is typically classified by the responsible infecting virus and modified by the extent of pathological injury and clinical compensation. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections represent the two major causes of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite inducing shared pathological events leading to oncogenic transformation, these two viruses present profound differences in their molecular features, life cycle and interplay with host factors, which significantly differentiate the prognostic and therapeutic approach to the related diseases. The liver injury present in chronic hepatitis may be variable, but the basic morphologic changes in all types of chronic viral hepatitis are similar. In this regard, the liver biopsy remains the gold standard and is an important tool in the evaluation of patients with liver disease.
The state of the art in the field of CHB treatment reveals several limitations of currently approved therapies. Fortunately, the recent understanding of the immunology and physiology of chronic hepatitis B infection is leading to several innovative therapeutic strategies for chronic hepatitis B. Novel therapies support the global efforts by the World Health Organization in order to prevent disease progression and mortality by liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma as a result of viral hepatitis, a disease with a mortality trend on the rise worldwide. The results of the most advanced products for chronic hepatitis B treatment will be considered in the present revision of the statu quo of therapies. Special attention is given to therapeutic vaccination. The main pharmacological and clinical trials as well as the notorious case of therapeutic vaccination in patients with viral suppression as the result of combined treatment with antivirals. These areas of research deserve in deep analysis and discussion. The products in the more advanced clinical status will be highlighted as well as the recent registration of a novel therapeutic vaccine.