On a world-wide basis the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most significant viral pathogen affecting man; several hundred million people are infected. Although the chief burden of illness is felt in certain areas such as the Far East and sub-Saharan Africa, HBV is also a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States (1). Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control suggest that there are more than three hundred thousand new cases of acute hepatitis B in the United States every year, with four thousand deaths due to cirrhosis and one thousand deaths due to hepatocellular carcinoma annually (2). Approximately 0.5% of the United States population is chronically infected with HBV, in contrast to 20% of the population in endemic areas such as the Far East and sub-Saharan Africa.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)