Ahead of world hepatitis day, here’s what to know about the disease

Adeno-Associated virus (AAV) capsid (3D data 2qa0 from http://www.rcsb.org). The single stranded DNA genome inside the capsid is not visible here. The virus is a small, replication-defective, nonenveloped virus. AAV infects humans and some other primates.AAV is not currently known to cause any disease and this lack of pathogenicity has attracted considerable interest from gene therapy researchers together with a other features: AAV can infect non-dividing cells and can stably integrate into human chromosome 19 at a specific site which makes this virus more predictable and a better choice than retroviruses for gene therapy since retroviruses present the threat of random insertion and mutagenesis, which can be followed by cancer. However, removal of the "rep" and "cap" portions of the AAV genome helped create AAV vectors for gene therapy that lack integrative capacity. Selected genes for gene therapy can be inserted in to the AAV vector between the inverted terminal repeats (ITR). AAV DNA is lost through cell division, since the episomal DNA is not replicated along with the host cell DNA. Clinical trials: AAV vectors have been used for treatment of cystic fibrosis and hemophilia B, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, Arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. The capsid contains 60 proteins. View is along the 2-fold icosahedral symmetry axis. Individual, small spheres are atoms making up the proteins. Hydrogen atoms are not shown. (Photo Credit: Institute of Molecular Virology, WISC)

The World Hepatitis day, observed July 28 every year is aimed at raising global awareness on hepatitis.

Hepatitis is the inflammation of liver tissue.

There are five group of Hepatitis A, B,C, D and E. The disease is regarded as a silent killer because while some people do not have symptoms, other develop yellow discolouration of the skin and whiteness of the eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain, or diarrhoea.

The most common cause of the diseases are the hepatitis Viruses. It can also be caused by the consumption of excessive alcohol, certain medication, infections, autoimmune disease among others.

All these group of hepatitis affects the liver. Viral Hepatitis B and C are major health challenges affecting 325 million people globally.

Viral hepatitis are also root cause of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year

Ten Facts about Hepatitis B and C disease:

1. Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, according to WHO, viral hepatitis affects 325 million people globally

2. Hepatitis B and C are root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year.

3. Hepatitis B and C are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades.

4. At least 60 per cent of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C.

5. Low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030.

6. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives.

7. Viral hepatitis has become a major killer due to lack of attention

8. Hepatitis can be prevented, diagnosed, treatable and even cured.

9. Hepatitis B and C are communicable disease.

10. The diseases can be transmitted through sharing of sharp objects, sweats, unsafe blood transfusion among others.

Seven facts about Hepatitis B vaccine

1. Hepatitis B vaccine is made from parts of the hepatitis B virus.

2. It cannot cause hepatitis B infection.

3. The vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 shots over a 6-month period.

4. Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age.

5. All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated.

6. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for unvaccinated adults who are at risk for hepatitis B virus infection.

7. There are no known risks to getting hepatitis B vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.


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