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Animal Models for Hepatitis B: Does the Supply Meet the Demand?

Published:December 19, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.11.056
      Worldwide, more than 257 million people are persistently infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can lead to a broad spectrum of disease outcomes, including cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. HBV can be effectively prevented with a prophylactic vaccine, and currently approved antiviral therapy can suppress viremia but hardly cure the underlying infection. New insights into the viral life cycle and HBV’s interactions with the host cell have reignited efforts to devise improved antiviral therapies with the ambitious goal of completely eradicating HBV or permanently inactivating the virus in patients. Systematic testing of approaches to cure HBV has been hampered by the scarcity of animal models faithfully recapitulating infection and the clinical features associated with chronic hepatitis B.
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