Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B The disease known as Hepatitis B is caused by the infectuous Hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV alone has infected about 400 million people in the world, which makes HBV one of the most common pathogens. Almost 700 million U.S. Dollars are spent every year for treating Hepatitis patients. Structure: HBV is a 42 nm doubleshelled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) virus of the class Hepadnaviridae. The outer surface membrane contains Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which also circulates in blood as 22 nm spherical and tubular particles. The inner core of the virus contains Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAG), Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), a single molecule of partially doublestranded DNA, and DNA dependent DNA polymerase.

How it is transmitted? Hepatitis B is transmitted by sexual contact or by blood. People who are at risk by being infected by HBV are drug users, homosexuals, active heterosexuals, infants born from infected mothers and children of immigrants from disease-endemic areas. Symptoms: Symptoms of HBV are yellowness of skin, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting and itermittent nausea.When a person becomes infected with the Hepatitis B virus he will carry the virus for a period of about 30 – 180 days. Hepatitis B is a serious disease, responsible for an estimated 4000 – 5000 deaths each year in the United States due to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) one of the most common cancers afflicting humans is primarily caused by chronic HBV infection. Treatment: Hepatitis B is treated by the vaccine.

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HBsAg is the primary component of the Hepatitis B vaccine; this antigen induces a protective, neutralizing antibody that provides longterm protection against HBV infection. The Hepatitis vaccine prevents from being infected by the disease and prevents its serious consequences. Therefore, it is the first anti-cancer vaccine. The Hepatitis B vaccine is strongly endorsed by the medical, scientific and public health communities as a safe and effective way to prevent disease and death. The Hepatitis B vaccine has no known side effects or evidence that it can cause chronic illnesses. Bibliography Life sciences, Addison Wesley Biology the study of life, Miller and Levine Science Essays.