If you work on the front lines of medical care treating patients with hepatitis, you may not have time to review all the hepatitis research that enters the medical literature every month. Here’s a quick look at some notable news items and journal articles published over the past month, covering a variety of the major hepatitis viruses.

Although hepatitis E virus infections are increasingly recognized as a global public health problem , there are “few methods for prevention and treatment that are widely available,” according to a recent analysis.

A “suboptimal plasma level of the antiviral drug daclatasvir allows the selection of resistance-associated variants” and fails to contribute to antiviral activity in HIV-hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfected patients, according to a recent study, although no definite reason for the low daclatasvir level was found.

The new preservative-free inactivated hepatitis A vaccine (Healive) in two doses showed better persistence of antibody concentrations for 5 years after full-course immunization among children, compared with Havrix. The endurance of protective immunogenicity was estimated for at least 20 years.

Because of transplacental transfer of antihepatitis B virus antibodies (anti-HBVs), high levels of maternal anti-HBVs may suppress infants’ immune response to standard HBV vaccination, according to an analysis in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

The gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase-to-platelet ratio (GPR) is “a new serum model for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, according to a recent study. Researchers said it shows advantages in Chinese hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients with hepatitis B virus DNA greater than or equal to 5 log10 copies/mL and ALT less than or equal to two times ULN (upper limit of normal), compared with APRI (aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index) and Fibrosis-4.

A baseline quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) threshold of 3.141 log10 IU/mL and a baseline quantitative hepatitis B core-related antigen 3.450 log10 U/mL threshold, used separately or in combination , allow prediction of response to pegylated interferon-alpha-2a (PegIFN)-based “precision therapy” for hepatitis B virus infection, a new study found.

Male sex, age over 40 years, cirrhotic liver, and long length of stay are significant factors associated with death in hepatitis A virus-hospitalized cases, according to a study in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

Chronic kidney disease patients receiving three doses of hepatitis B adjuvanted vaccine were three times more likely to seroconvert than patients immunized with nonadjuvanted vaccines, according to results of a Spanish study. This meant fewer patients needed a second course of HBV vaccination and there were fewer outpatient visits.

Acute kidney injury is closely linked with increased short-term mortality in Chinese hepatitis B virus-related, acute-on-chronic liver failure patients, according to a study in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

Italian investigators attempted “to predict susceptibility of healthy patients to de novo HBV infection using a cultured IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot ( ELISPOT ) assay.” Although the prognostic value of the assay was not demonstrated, data suggested that the subjects may be at risk for HBV infection.

Investigators demonstrated that treatment with sofosbuvir and simeprevir was effective in a real-life cohort of patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 4 infection and advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis. They said that adding ribavirin could be considered in treatment-experienced patients.

The presence of specific anti-envelope antibodies may be a factor that helps individuals at high risk of hepatitis C virus to resist infection, according to a study in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

A Chinese study determined that certain social network structural characteristics are related to hepatitis C virus infections in people who inject drugs, and used the data to identify the most susceptible individuals for HCV transmission in a network of people who inject drugs.

Drug resistance analyses of protease inhibitors that treat hepatitis C virus infection can be useful and essential in revealing the particular variants responsible for pretreatment natural resistance and also the particular mutations responsible for the viral breakthrough that may develop during the treatment, according to a study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Routine vaccination of toddlers against hepatitis A virus would be cost effective in Mexico using a single-dose vaccination strategy, according to a recent study, although the authors said the cost efficacy of a second dose depends on the assumptions of added safeguards by immune memory protection and the time horizon over which the analysis is enacted.

Hepatitis C virus-infected patients undergoing ribavirin-free sofosbuvir and velpatasvir regimens had significantly better patient-reported outcome scores during therapy, compared with those undergoing the ribavirin-containing regimen, a recent study found.

An analysis in Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice reported the first case of visual hallucinations during chronic hepatitis C treatment with sofosbuvir and simeprevir. Investigators said hallucinations stopped upon starting antipsychotic medication, and the remainder of treatment was safe.

Sustained virologic response can be attained with pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin combination therapy in hepatitis C virus–infected patients, but a relapse may occur in some patients, according to a recent study.

A quantitative HBsAg test can be used to ascertain high levels of hepatitis B viremia in women who might transmit the virus to their children, rather than a test for HBeAg or HBV DNA, according to a research letter in Hepatology.

A Chinese study found a robust relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and chronic hepatitis B. This is especially true during hepatitis B virus progression.

The prevalence of antihepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies was 49% (153/313) among blood donors in central Italy , according to a study published in Eurosurveillance. The authors said HEV infection is hyperendemic among blood donors (80% men, 18- to 64-years-old) from central Italy and associated with local dietary habits, such as eating raw dried pig liver sausage.


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