Hepatitis B Virus Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

Hepatitis B Virus


Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a double-stranded DNA virus in the Hepadnaviridae family. The infectious particle is 42nm in diameter, with a genome 3200 nucleotides long. It has an outer envelope and an icosahedral nucleocapsid, which contains viral DNA polymerase and has a diameter of 27nm. The envelope contains the HBV surface antigen (HBsAg); this is the molecule to which anti-HBV antibodies are directed. The non-infectious hepatitis B particles are composed of HBsAg only and come in the form of filaments and spheres. Their only likely purpose is binding up antibodies so the infectious particles can remain free. In humans HBV infects hepatocytes where it replicates within the nucleus, but can also be found in smooth muscle, bone marrow, kidneys, thyroid glands and other sites.


HBV is usually transmitted from blood to blood and can be contracted via infected needles (IV drugs and tattoos), sexual contact, cuts, hemodialysis, vertical transmission at birth and blood transfusions. In developed countries blood is screened for the presence of HBsAg before transfusion. Unlike other forms of viral hepatitis, HBV cannot be transmitted by contaminated food or water. The CDC states that preventive measures for HBV infection are similar to those for HIV. Diagnosis of HBV can be made by the presence of HBsAg, which can be found in the serum a few weeks before onset of illness. The anti-HBsAg antibody is found weeks to months after infection and can last, in some cases giving life-long immunity.

Hepatitis B is found mostly in Africa, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and parts of the Caribbean. In those areas all socioeconomic groups are affected with rates above 8%. Infection rates between 2% and 7% occur in central and southwest Asia Israel, Japan, parts of Europe, the Amazon River basin and Russia. Most other areas including northern and western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the southern part of South America have low rates of infection (<2%). Chronic HBV carriers can spread the infection. Infection from carriers is low in North America and northern Europe (<0.5%), but is >10% in some areas of the Far East. 5,000 people in the US die from HBV each year and there are currently 1 million chronically infected people in the US. Worldwide 2 billion people have been infected, with 350 million chronically and 1.5 million die each year.


Symptoms include loss of appetite (anorexia), fever, nausea with vomiting and jaundice. In this case, jaundice is caused when extra subunits of hemoglobin called bilirubin build up in the body due to liver damage. The word hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and with HBV infection the liver is often enlarged and tender. A HBV infection can be acute or chronic. An acute infection can resolve itself spontaneously, with rates as high as 90-95% in adults, but is...

Find Another Essay On Hepatitis B Virus

Hepatitis C Essay

2406 words - 10 pages transplantation in the United States (Bushie). This virus affects so many people and we should all learn and study more about it to hasten its spread. Hepatitis is a rather new virus to the science world, but it has been around for a very long time. Before scientists knew about hepatitis C, they had discovered A and B types, so when they found C they called it non-A non-B (Turkington 5). The virus was discovered in 1987, but not until after 1990 was


758 words - 3 pages CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background of Study Hepatitis B is a disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) which infects the liver of hominoidae, including human, and cause an inflammation of the liver called hepatitis. The disease was originally known as "serum hepatitis" that caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China. About a one third of the world's population or more than 2 billion people have been infected

Hepatitis C

592 words - 2 pages injected drugs, being exposed to human blood, received a blood transfusion or blood products before 1992 or overseas (Turkington, 13).The hepatitis C virus affects the liver, as well as other cells such as white blood cells and the lymphatic system. This is thought to make the disease more complicated to treat. People with chronic HCV (hepatitis c virus) may experience a broad array of symptoms. Symptoms may include flu like illness with chills


1609 words - 6 pages diagnosis possible. Despite the fact that there is not a vaccine the use of gamma globulin as a preventive measure seems to be effective. Gamma globulin is given as soon as the virus is established. Several other drugs have been used experimentally. They have shown promise against the virus in certain tests, but these drugs are not in general use (Locke 82-83). The other type of hepatitis is serum hepatitis. It is also known as hepatitis B. In


548 words - 2 pages Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver cells which is caused by certain types of viruses (A, B, C, D, and E) and it could be acute (lasts for a short period of time) or chronic (lasts for more than 6 months) [2].All types of hepatitis have some common symptoms such as jaundice, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, malaise, and pain and discomfort in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen [1]. If these symptoms persist for a long time they might

Infection Control

2464 words - 10 pages Infection control is very important in the health care profession. Health care professionals, who do not practice proper infection control, allow themselves to become susceptible to a number of infections. Among the most dreaded of these infections are: hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Another infection which has more recently increased in prevalence is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


1874 words - 7 pages , darkening of urine, and jaundice (American Liver Foundation June 1993 pg. 2).The only vaccine that is used on Hep. B is called Saccharomyces cerevesia (common bakers' yeast) (Hepatitis B 1992 pg. 4).There is still the old home remedy of lots of bed rest, but left untreated can result in cirrhosis or even liver cancer. Cirrhosis is a disease caused by a virus such as Hep. B attacking the liver cells resulting in the liver forming scare tissue. When

Hepatitis A

1054 words - 4 pages Introduction: Hepatitis is caused by a virus that is targeted at the liver, one of your most important organs!! Specifically, it causes inflammation and injury to the liver. Hepatitis comes in many different forms, five to be exact. There is Hepatitis A, B, C, D & E. Hepatitis is caused mainly by viruses, all of which are set on shutting down your liver. I will be specifically concentrating on Hepatitis A in this report. Hepatitis A is

HCV: The Hepatitis C Virus

926 words - 4 pages Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are currently five known viruses that cause can hepatitis (Microbiology, 10e). The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected person; however, it is now more commonly spread among IV drug users that share needles. Healthcare workers are also at risk for contracting HCV, but with standard precautions, the risk is low. “Prior to 1992, some people acquired the

Hepatitis C

1831 words - 7 pages different forms of treatment, he has discovered that his body will tolerate none of the conventional medical treatments and he now manages his disease by diet and vitamin supplements to the best of his ability.Hepatitis C is a viral infection that usually attacks the liver but can manifest elsewhere.Until 1989, when HCV was identified, the remaining Hepatitis viruses were referred to as non /A non /B Hepatitis. This discovery of HCV prompted immediate

Blood-Borne and Infectious Diseases: Hepatitis C

3169 words - 13 pages suggested that the wide diversity of genotypes contributes to the pathogenicity of the virus, allowing it to escape the actions of host immune mechanisms. Unlike hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccination for hepatitis C. (Porth 2002)Common Symptoms: Depression, fatigue, dry mouth, aches and pains, pain/discomfort over liver region, poor appetite and sexual dysfunction. (Hepatitis C Council of SA 2000)Modes of TransmissionHepatitis C is rarely

Similar Essays

The Hepatitis B Virus And Vaccination

1670 words - 7 pages The Hepatitis B Virus and Vaccination   The hepatitis B virus (HBV) has a long history of being shrouded in mystery concerning its cause and transmission and the treatment of its resulting symptoms and diseases. As more was learned about the virus in the first half of this century, it came to be identified largely with homosexuals and intravenous drug users. Due to its prevalence among such already marginalized members of society, hepatitis

Hepatitis Essay 585 Words

585 words - 2 pages HepatitisHepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells or the organ. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, anorexia and malaise. Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer.There are 5 types of Hepatitis; A, B, C, D, and E. Each caused by a different hepatitis virus. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis C Essay

1004 words - 4 pages ). Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is one of the most common causes of liver transplants in the United States. Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver’s cells and tissues caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C virus is blood-borne, which means it is spread through blood and blood products (Grady). After the discovery of hepatitis A virus in 1973 and hepatitis B in 1963, any cases of acute or chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis

Hepatitis E Essay

1337 words - 5 pages suspect cases of non-A and non-B hepatitis (Balayan et al. 1983) hepatitis E virus is a non-eveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus is approximately 27 to 30 nm in size (veterinami medicina 52, 2007) (HEV) infections are spreads by the faecal – oral route and causes acute sporadic and epidemic viral hepatitis worldwide, usually through contaminated water supply. (Vasickova et al, 2005) However, the actual mechanism