Therapeutic vaccination against chronic hepatitis B virus infection

J Clin Virol. 2005 Dec:34 Suppl 1:S108-14. doi: 10.1016/s1386-6532(05)80019-8.


Chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma due to chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection pose a major public health problem in highly endemic regions. Effective vaccines against HBV exist but more than 370 million people remain chronically infected with HBV For these patients there is a high risk to develop cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently available therapies fail to control viral replication in the long term in most patients. Viral persistence has been associated with a defect in the development of HBV specific cellular immunity. Strategies to boost or to broaden the weak virus-specific T-cell response of patients with chronic hepatitis B have been proposed as a means of curing this persistent infection. HBV envelope- and nucleocapsid-based vaccines, new formulations for recombinant vaccines and DNA-based vaccines are currently being assessed in clinical trials. Improvements are clearly required, but vaccination is likely to be the cheapest and potentially most beneficial treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / genetics
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / therapeutic use


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic