Most people are asymptomatic, although some will present with complications such as cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver failure.
People from endemic areas (Asia, Africa), or injection drug users and those with high-risk sexual behaviours, are at an increased risk for infection.
Serological markers are essential in making the diagnosis and evaluating disease activity, including differentiating between people with acute and chronic infection and chronic asymptomatic carriers.
Therapy for acute infection is almost always supportive care alone. However, some patients with acute infection may develop liver failure, and these patients may require referral to a liver transplant centre.
Therapy for chronic infection includes nucleoside/nucleotide analogues and pegylated interferon-alfa.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a DNA virus transmitted by percutaneous and permucosal routes. HBV infection is also a sexually transmitted disease. Infection may result in a self-limiting disease requiring no treatment, particularly in adult-acquired infection, but it may also result in a chronically infected state, particularly if it is acquired perinatally or in early childhood.
Professor of Medicine
Division of Liver Diseases
Mount Sinai Hospital
JA declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr Jawad Ahmad would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Sateesh R. Prakash, Dr Siddarth Verma, Dr Smruti R. Mohanty, and Dr Jared Hossack, previous contributors to this monograph. SRP, SV, and JH declare that they have no competing interests. SRM serves as a speaker bureau for Bristol-Myers Squibb regarding the use of entecavir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
Department of Medicine
University of Connecticut Health Center
GYW is on the medical advisory boards of Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Clinical Epidemiology Unit
Marilia Medical School
LOC declares that she has no competing interests.
Bangladesh Primary Care Research Network
MAM declares that he has no competing interests.
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