Lay Summaries - Volume 4 Issue 9

Lay Summary:  The EASL multinational survey conclusively shows that viral hepatitis elimination programs, expected to provide control of hepatitis B and hepatitis C worldwide by 2030, have been held back by the COVID-19 pandemic in clinical centers from several European and non-European countries, with a comparable impact across centers. Limitations in the cascade of care for both HBV and HCV were linked to limited access to screening, consultations, specific testing, and actual treatment. As restrictions for COVID-19 begin to lift, efforts to diagnose and provide treatment for viral hepatitis should remain high on the list of priorities for public health officials to maintain the WHO elimination efforts. Measures that have been put in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic could be transferred to increasing the diagnosis and linkage to care of people with hepatitis.
Lay Summary:  Chronic Hepatitis B affects 300 million people (killing 884,000 per year) and is incurable. To cure it, we need to clear the HBV genome from the liver. In this study, we looked at how the virus behaves after a cell divides. We found that it completely clears the virus, making 2 new uninfected cells. Our work informs new approaches to develop cures for chronic hepatitis B infections.
Lay Summary:  Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has a significant impact on quality of life, with individuals experiencing worse physical and mental health compared with the general population. NASH and its symptoms, which include tiredness, stomach pain, anxiety, depression, poor focus and memory, and impaired sleep, affect individuals’ relationships and ability to work and perform day-to-day tasks. However, not all patients are aware that their symptoms may be related to NASH. Patients would benefit from more education on their disease, and the importance of good social networks for patient health and well-being should be reinforced. More studies are needed to better understand the patient burden of NASH.
Lay Summary:  Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is only known to infect humans and chimpanzees in nature. Mouse models are often used in modeling disease pathogenesis and preclinical research to assess the efficacy and safety of interventions before they are then tested in human participants. However, because mice are not susceptible to HBV infection it is difficult to accurately model human infection (and test potential treatments) in mouse models. Herein, we have shown that mice are able to perform a key step in the HBV life cycle, tightening the net around the possible reason why HBV can not efficiently infect and replicate in mice.
Lay Summary:  The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major contributor to human morbidity and mortality. HBV can be categorized into a number of genotypes, based on their specific genetic make-up, of which 9 are well known. We isolated and cloned the genomes of 5 of these genotypes and used them to create valuable tools for future research on this clinically important virus.
Lay Summary:  Liver inflammation and injury induced by ischaemia and reperfusion (the absence of blood flow to the liver tissue followed by the resupply of blood) is a significant cause of hepatic dysfunction and failure following liver transplantation, resection, and haemorrhagic shock. Herein, we uncover an underlying mechanism that contributes to liver inflammation and cell death in this setting and could be a therapeutic target in stress-induced liver inflammatory injury.