Hepatitis B is caused by hepatitis B virus infection
Hepatitis B virus infection is diagnosed by serological analysis / assay and liver function test.
Hepatitis B may be divided into acute hepatitis and chronic hepatitis.
Acute hepatitis may be indicated by the present of IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen ( HBcAg) as well as HBV DNA and HBe antigen.The common symptoms and signs of acute hepatitis B may include fatigue, fever, nausea, anorexia and hepatomegaly.
Patient may also present with dark urine, pale stool, jaundice and elevation of liver enzyme.
Patient who unable to clear the hepatitis B virus from the body may become carriers and develop chronic hepatitis.
Chronic hepatitis may be detected by the present of HBsAG, HBeAg and HBV DNA. Chronic hepatitis is at risk for liver failure, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The present of antibody to the HBsAg is associated with immunity to the hepatitis B virus infection.
The common mode of transmission of hepatitis B virus may include intravenous drug, sexual contact, perinatal and blood and bodily fluid.
Hepatitis B virus will infect the hepatocytes. Cytotoxic T cells will be activated which lead to hepatocellular injury.
The treatment may include interferon alpha, adefovir and lamivudine for chronic hepatitis.
Recombinant HBsAg vaccine is considered as a form of active immunization against hepatitis B.
Individual with needle stick exposures or neonates born to HBsAg positive mother may required passive immunization with HBV immune globulin.
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