HBV: “The virus has four genes (or open reading frames), designated S for the surface antigen protein, C for the protein that covers the inner core and encloses the DNA, P for polymerase enzyme responsible for replication…, and X for the X protein involved in transcription and possibly, the carcinogenic properties of HBV. “
(Blumberg, B. S., Hepatitis B. The Hunt for a Killer Virus, Princeton University Press, 2002, 2004).
Hepatitis B was discovered in 1965 by Baruch Blumberg et al..(LINK). Alex has written some posts on “B” topics and claims– I like this one from 2013: Malcolm in the Middle-What did they know and when did they know it ? (LINK).
There is a HBV vaccine, but no cure.
“…if a person has never gotten Hepatitis B, then the vaccine will protect them against the disease. However, if a person has been infected and recovered, they are immune to Hepatitis B and do not need the vaccine.” CDC flyer, p.2 (LINK)
Those not so lucky to achieve natural immunity become chronic carriers; the current antiviral medications only suppress HBV; they are given long term. This can lead to drug resistance and a manifestation called Virological Breakthrough (Link).
Hepatitis C–formerly the mysterious “non-A, non-B” viral hepatitis (NANBH)–was discovered in 1989 by Choo, et al. There currently exists no HCV vaccine but a cure was found in 2013. An acute case of resolved HBV can lead to immunity or the chronic state. An acute case of HCV can also be resolved by the immune system but the person is susceptible to reinfection. If not cured, they can become a chronic carrier of one or more HCV genotypes.
Of course, a person can also be infected with different combinations of HBV, HCV, and even HIV at the same time. Now if a person can achieve an inactive carrier state, when the virus is not harming the liver, that’s a good thing. But if the patient is also infected with HCV, his HBV could become reactivated by the new DAA medications with awful results.
When patients are unaware that they have HBV, nor are tested for it, are treated with DAAs to cure their HCV, wham-o, HBV attack their livers with gusto. Therefore the press and world governments have issued warnings: check HBV status before proceeding with HCV DAA treatments.
Frank has found some articles about this horror for us:
That a “thing,” with only four genes, can do so much damage to humans is astonishing. As we can see in this recent WHO map, HBV remains a serious infectious disease in Vietnam and other Asian countries. It’s not surprising that our servicemen, who were not chaste goody-two shoes, picked up this STD. And no, you don’t have to prove you had unsafe sex in-service by also picking up a different STD like gonorrhea that required immediate attention by medics!
Click image to see map larger.