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J Hepatol. 2009 Apr;50(4):805-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Feb 3.

Hepatitis B vaccination: The key towards elimination and eradication of hepatitis B.

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1
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei. chends@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

Hepatitis B virus infection is a global health problem. Worldwide, about 360 million people are chronically infected with the virus. They continue to spread the virus to others and are themselves at risk of chronic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma. The infection can now be treated by antivirals or interferons and the transmission route can be interrupted. Nevertheless, the most effective means is to immunize all susceptible individuals, especially young children, with safe and efficacious vaccines. The combined efforts of vaccination, effective treatment and interruption of transmission make elimination of the infection plausible and may eventually lead to eradication of the virus. Because hepatitis B vaccination has a key role in the control of hepatitis B, properties of this vaccine, its effectiveness in pre-exposure and post-exposure settings, duration of protection after vaccination and the need of booster doses are discussed. Mass hepatitis B vaccination in children decreases the carriage of the virus, and the diseases associated with acute and chronic infection, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Challenges that need to be solved to expand mass vaccination, and the strategies towards elimination and eventual eradication of hepatitis B in the world are also discussed.

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PMID:
19231008
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhep.2009.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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