Targeting Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses to Cure Chronic HBV Infection

Gastroenterology. 2019 Jan;156(2):325-337. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.10.032. Epub 2018 Oct 24.


Fewer than 1% of chronic hepatitis B virus infections per year are cured with antiviral treatment. This creates a need for long-term treatment, which poses challenges for patients and health systems. Because cure is accompanied by recovery of antiviral immunity, a combination of direct-acting antiviral agents and immunotherapy are likely to be required. Extensive efforts have been made to identify determinants of the failed immune response to hepatitis B virus in patients with chronic infection. We review mechanisms of immune dysfunction in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection, immunotherapy strategies in development, and the challenges associated with successful implementation of immunotherapy.

Keywords: Drug; HBsAg; Inflammation; Vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / drug effects*
  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Immunotherapy*