|Chronic hepatitis in adults and neonates induced by HBV infection|
Treatment options for chronic HBV infection include interferons and nucleos(t)ide analogues which directly interfere with HBV replication. The choice of therapy is determined by many factors including the stage of the disease, serum ALT and HBV DNA levels and HBeAg status of the patient. We are studying that effective control of HBV replication by potent antiviral drugs which could potentiallyresult in restoring HBV specific host immunity and adaptive immune responses and further facilitate eradication of HBV in those who are able to eradicate HBV. The efficacy of these agents is about 40-45% and their use is associated with side-effects and emergence of drug resistance mutants. To overcome this problem, currently we are screening several herbal preparations and testing their efficacy in inhibiting HBV replication and propagation. To make an effective drug, it is also important to identify the molecular mechanisms by which the viral infection occurs.
Our intent is to identify expression patterns of notch signaling molecules in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) at acute stage and during chronic infection and in target liver tissues during recirrhosis, cirrhosis and HCC and their role in chronic immune response to cause severity of disease. In India, 3% pregnant females are HBV+ve. Every year 2.8-3.9 lakh infants are infected by HBV. Perinatally acquired HBV infection becomes chronic in 90 % cases. Immunological mechanisms responsible for high rate of chronicity in the newborns, vertically transmitted with HBV from their mothers are not yet well understood, we intend to study the HBV viral kinetics in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells in babies born to HBsAg+ve mothers and who have received vaccination against HBV and analyse their immune status at birth and response to HBV vaccination in babies born to HBsAg+ve mothers.