Current perspectives of viral hepatitis

World J Gastroenterol. 2024 May 14;30(18):2402-2417. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i18.2402.


Viral hepatitis represents a major danger to public health, and is a globally leading cause of death. The five liver-specific viruses: Hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis D virus, and hepatitis E virus, each have their own unique epidemiology, structural biology, transmission, endemic patterns, risk of liver complications, and response to antiviral therapies. There remain few options for treatment, in spite of the increasing prevalence of viral-hepatitis-caused liver disease. Furthermore, chronic viral hepatitis is a leading worldwide cause of both liver-related morbidity and mortality, even though effective treatments are available that could reduce or prevent most patients' complications. In 2016, the World Health Organization released its plan to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by the year 2030, along with a discussion of current gaps and prospects for both regional and global eradication of viral hepatitis. Today, treatment is sufficiently able to prevent the disease from reaching advanced phases. However, future therapies must be extremely safe, and should ideally limit the period of treatment necessary. A better understanding of pathogenesis will prove beneficial in the development of potential treatment strategies targeting infections by viral hepatitis. This review aims to summarize the current state of knowledge on each type of viral hepatitis, together with major innovations.

Keywords: Current perspectives; Hepatitis A virus; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; Hepatitis D virus; Hepatitis E virus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Hepatitis Viruses / drug effects
  • Hepatitis Viruses / genetics
  • Hepatitis Viruses / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / therapy
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology
  • Prevalence