, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 132-136
Date: 10 May 2008

The role of viral mutation in the pathogenesis of chronic viral hepatitis

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The quasispecies nature of hepatitis B and C virus (HBV, HCV) plays an important role in the pathogenesis, immune escape and drug resistance during chronic infection. Although there is still a lack of effective treatment for hepatitis C, a series of nucleoside analogs (NA) have been developed for the treatment of hepatitis B. NA resistant HBV mutants can accumulate during prolonged therapy and lead to the failure of anti-HBV therapy. Switching to other sensitive NAs can inhibit the emerged resistant mutants. Therefore, understanding the evolution of viral quasispecies under drug pressure is crucial for the establishment of antiviral strategy and the monitoring of antiviral process. Immune response and escape are complicated process, during which both host and virus factors may play their roles. Further understanding of the interaction and interrelationship between host and these viruses may lead to optimized prevention, diagnosis and treatment for chronic hepatitis.