World Hepatitis Day is a global day of awareness and action to help increase efforts that will eradicate viral hepatitis for good. The date (28th July) is actually the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg – he discovered hepatitis B virus and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for it.
Here's what some of our contributors shared with the community for World Hepatitis Day.
James Beeson, Deputy Director and Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute, posted on behalf of his colleagues who work on hepatitis C. They reflect on recent progress towards achieving hepatitis C elimination as a public health threat, discussing a new, highly effective treatment for hepatitis C - called direct acting anti-viral (DAA) – as well as the importance of testing and prevention.
Over 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis and it causes approximately 1.3 million deaths per year (killing more people than either HIV or malaria). Jose Jimenez-Guardeno, Research Fellow at Kings College London, summarises what we currently know about the different types of viral hepatitis, from A to E, including their transmission, treatment and prevention.
Prof Ramakrishnan Sitaraman is based in the Department of Biotechnology, TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India. His post focusses on recent improvements and initiatives to controlling viral hepatitis in India, including the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program launched by the Government of India in 2004 to report any outbreaks of infectious diseases that might be of significant public health concern.
And finally, a Behind the Paper especially for World Hepatitis Day! Philippa Matthews and Sunetra Gupta discuss their recent publication in BMC Medicine which combines data with modelling to predict how patterns of hepatitis B infection will change over time. They found that even with 100% vaccination, elimination of hepatitis B could still be decades away – putting the WHO target of 2030 for the global elimination of viral hepatitis into perspective.
Thinking about where to publish your next viral hepatitis paper? The BMC journal Gut Pathogens is calling for papers to include in its new collection on gut viruses causing acute gastroenteritis and viral hepatitis. You can learn more and take a look at the first articles in the collection here.
Poster image: 3D structure of hepatitis B virus by Jose R Valverde (Pixabay)