, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 60-64
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Immune-Tolerant Hepatitis B Infection: To Treat or Not to Treat?

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Abstract

Despite a decline in the annual incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection following the implementation of routine vaccination, a significant number of children remain infected. Unlike the infected adult population, who often demonstrate clinical symptoms or abnormalities on routine laboratory investigations, children are often silently infected due to immune tolerance to the virus. Few studies have addressed treatment of these immune-tolerant children because they are not believed to be at a high risk for developing disease sequela during this phase of infection. Although there remain several important unanswered questions, routine treatment of children in the immune-tolerant phase of HBV infection is not currently recommended.