Viral hepatitis: past and future of HBV and HDV

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2015 Feb 2;5(2):a021345. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a021345.


Viral hepatitis is a significant disease afflicting hundreds of millions of people. Hepatitis-causing viruses initiate significant morbidity and mortality by establishing both acute and chronic infections, and several of these viruses are specifically associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Consequently, intense research efforts are focused on increasing our understanding of virus biology and on improving antiviral therapy. Even though viral hepatitis can be caused by several viruses from a range of virus families, the discovery of components of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) became a catalyst for the development of diagnostic assays that differentiate between these viruses as well as strategies for novel methods of vaccine development. Improvements in both the treatment and prevention of viral hepatitis are advancing rapidly. However, HBV, along with the associated infection by the hepatitis D virus, is still among the most common pathogens afflicting humans.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology
  • Genome, Viral
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis Delta Virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / virology
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / history*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / therapy*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology