Current therapies can suppress the replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV) but cannot clear chronic HBV infection, which afflicts hundreds of millions worldwide. HBV persistence is sustained by the viral covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), an episome in the nucleus of infected hepatocytes. cccDNA is refractory to current therapies and its clearance is the holy grail for HBV cure. However, it has been difficult to monitor the fate of cccDNA in the liver directly. The current study takes a novel approach to this critical issue by monitoring the dynamic change in the genetic composition of the serum HBV RNA, which appears to reflect the dynamics of intrahepatic cccDNA turnover.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases