Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Total Environ. 2012 Apr 15;423:202-9. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.09.036. Epub 2010 Oct 23.

Host genetic factors in hepatitis B infection, liver cancer and vaccination response: a review with a focus on Africa.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK.


The disease burden due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains significant; 350 million people are infected world-wide, and around half a million deaths each year are due to HBV-related liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Infant immunisation against infection was introduced in the early 1980s, the vaccine is routinely administered across regions where the disease is endemic and has been shown to be safe and effective. However, the large number of older individuals with persistent infection means that disease will not be reduced significantly for several decades. Furthermore, failure to respond to the vaccination has been observed in about 5% of vaccinees and to date we have limited information on the durability of vaccine protection against infection. Hepatitis B infection and disease pathogenesis are known to be influenced by a number of factors including host genetics factors. This review aims to give an overview of the role of genetic variation in persistent HBV infection and the development of liver disease including HCC. Vaccine-induced immunity is, at least in part, heritable and we also discuss findings on the genetic control of responses to HBV vaccination. The epidemiology of HBV infection differs by world region, as does the genetic makeup of individuals originating from different regions. This review focuses on the situation in Africa, where hepatitis B is highly endemic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Loading ...
Support Center