e-Bulletin 13- 26 June 2012


Welcome to the latest edition of the Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin. 

The Hepatitis Scotland e-bulletin can be an opportunity to share news, views, knowledge and experience throughout our national and sector wide contact list.  If you have any research, ideas, news or upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our e-Bulletin, please forward the details to david@hepatitisscotland.org.uk for consideration.


UK welfare reforms undermining Scottish health action on hepatitis and HIV

UK Welfare Benefit reforms are likely to undermine action to tackle Hepatitis C and other Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) in Scotland, according to a new report published yesterday (25 June 2012) by Hepatitis Scotland and HIV Scotland.


Hepatitis B mother to baby transmission.


A Hepatitis B vaccination programme in the United States aimed at preventing chronic hepatitis B  (HBV) infections in newborns by testing expectant mothers is proving effective, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Researchers found that more babies of HBV infected mothers were being vaccinated immediately and fewer have ended up with chronic hepatitis B infections.


Chronic Hepatitis B infection higher risk of liver related death compared with Hepatitis C


The risk of liver related death from chronic hepatitis B infection has been found to be twice as high compared with chronic hepatitis C infection in a study by US researchers published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

The study was conducted amongst gay and other MSM, most of whom were HIV positive.  However, after adjusting for other factors related to liver disease, chronic hepatitis B still remained a significantly increased risk of liver related death.  

The investigators noted:“This study emphasizes the need for a more aggressive approach to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of CH-B including increasing vaccination rates among all HBV [hepatitis B virus] susceptible individuals.”


FDA warns against Victrelis with HIV medication


The United States Food and Drug Administration has notified health care professionals about potentially dangerous drug interactions between Victrelis (Boceprevir) and certain HIV medications that contain ritonavir.

The labelling of Boceprevir is being updated to include information about interactions with the HIV medication affected. Labelling for Telaprevir already includes information about potential HIV drug interactions and neither of these protease inhibitors is approved for treatment of HIV/HCV co-infection.


Hepatitis C Therapy Update


A review of the literature regarding hepatitis C treatment through to January 2012 including a discussion of newly approved therapies and the what can be expected in this field in the future.


CDC recommends one off Hepatitis C test for Baby Boomers

The United States Centre for Disease Control have issued draft guidance recommending a one off hepatitis C test for all baby boomers.  This follows research which suggested that 1 in 30 baby boomers may be infected with hepatitis C and not be aware of it. 

With the advent of protease inhibitors being approved for treatment of hepatitis C genotype 1, the CDC have conducted analysis which shows that it would be more cost effective to diagnose and treat hepatitis C infections in this population group than to deal with the much more costly consequences of severe liver damage and transplantation if left untreated.


D-Livering the message


scientific report published online in the Journal of Hepatology will add further to the discussion of the importance of vitamin D status in chronic liver disease.  It highlights that vitamin D deficiency is frequently present in chronic liver disease and that it could potentially predict non-response to antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C or even that vitamin D supplementation could improve response to treatment.

The report quotes several small studies which have variously shown that vitamin D deficiency in those with chronic liver disease is present in around two thirds of subjects and 'has a deleterious imact on a number of important medical conditions'; 'several invitro studies have shown that vitamin D inhibits hepatitis C replication in a dose dependent manner'; that pre-treatment vitamin D deficiency could be an independent predictor of failure to achieve SVR in genotypes 1, 2 and 3; and that recipients of vitamin D3 supplementation were less likely to be relapsers or non responders to antiviral therapy.

However, the report acknowledges that there is limited data evaluating vitamin D supplementation in chronic Hep C treatment; that the clinical importance of vitamin D as an anti-fibrotic agent remains to be determined; and that it remains unclear whether vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of liver cancer.

The report concludes that further and indeed larger studies are required to substantiate the findings of these smaller scale studies.  However, it does point out that evidence continues to increase as to the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in those with chronic liver disease, and especially for those considering interferon-based antiviral therapy for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis B vaccine protects for 25 years

Vaccination against hepatitis B seems to protect against the virus for 25 years, suggesting that booster shots are unnecessary, according to a study from Taiwan that covered several thousand people.

Story taken from Reuters online

HBV Genotype Affects Hepatitis B Disease Progression and Outcomes

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype influences long-term outcomes including viral clearance, according to a Swedish study.

Story from HIVandHepatitis.com


Scotland and the other hepatitis virus

National Monothematic Conference on HBV Infection

Thursday 13th Sept, 2012 10 am- 4pm

Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh


To review latest knowledge about HBV infection in Scotland and discuss advances in therapy, to discuss understanding of natural history of the virus, timing interventions and starting and stopping rules



16th Annual Resistance and Antiviral Therapy Meeting

Thursday 20 September 2012
Wellcome Collection Conference Centre


The programme will focus on developments in the field of antiretroviral resistance and will also include updating and feeding back recent data on antiviral therapy in HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and the challenges that still lie ahead.


Viral Hepatitis Congress

The Viral Hepatitis Congress which will take place from 7-9 September 2012 at the J.W.Goethe University, Frankfurt.  This is the first year of this congress. The meeting will specifically focus on therapeutic research and treatment in Viral Hepatitis, a focus will be to share the latest scientific data directly relevant to the treatment of viral hepatitis. www.viral-hep.org.


EASL-AASLD Special Conference on Therapy of Hepatitis C: Clinical application and drug development

September 14-16, 2012
Prague, Czech Republic


This 2012 Special Conference will provide an opportunity to keep pace with the latest developments in this field. During the two days of the conference, leading international experts involved in Hepatitis C, will highlight and address a series of lectures, but will also participate in interactive debates on hot topics. Case presentations and parallel interactive sessions will take place and space will be reserved for poster presentations of original works in the field.


Hepatitis Scotland endeavours to link stories to actual scientific articles to allow readers access to all the background of a news item. Unfortunately the articles are sometimes unavailable to general users and protected behind password protected firewalls. In this case we have linked to comprehensive news stories from respected sources.


The Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin can be an opportunity to share news, views, knowledge and experience throughout our national and sector wide contact list.  If you have any research, ideas, news or upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our e-Bulletin, please forward the details to david@hepatitisscotland.org.uk for consideration.


Hepatitis Scotland
91 Mitchell Street
G1 3LN

Telephone: 0141 225 0419
Fax: 0141 248 6414