1 Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Brody School of Medicine , East Carolina University , Greenville , NC , USA.
2 Specialty Clinic , Greenville VA Health Care Center , Greenville , NC , USA.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a global challenge with several hundred million infected individuals. Disease activity can be controlled, and adverse outcomes prevented when treatment can be provided. Frequently life-long therapy is required instead of defined treatment periods such as with the case of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection. Areas covered: In this review, the authors provide an overview of current start of the art therapy for HBV and indicate where variation from the current guidelines could be considered. Certain patients may be eligible for treatment with suboptimal therapies when their baseline viral load is low. Identifying ideal candidates for interferon therapy will result in good sustained responses for some patients. Expert opinion: The biggest challenge remains linking patients to care and therapy. Patients can nowadays be sufficiently treated before the disease advances to a more progressed phase. However, future therapies must be extremely safe and ideally limit the required treatment period. Given Hepatitis D Virus's dependence on HBV and being a disease with an unmet clinical need, HDV may be the best target group for the development of a functional cure for hepatitis B.