Journal article

Hepatitis B virus: pathogenesis, viral intermediates, and viral replication

J Lee, S Locarnini

Clinics in Liver Disease | Elsevier | Published : 2004

Abstract

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an enveloped, double-stranded DNA virus that is the prototype member of the family Hepadnaviridae. The virus replicates its DNA genome via an RNA intermediate, an unusual strategy that generates a heterogeneous population of genetic variants during the normal course of infection and provides enormous potential for adaptation to changing environments during particular selection pressures. This property endows the virus with the ability to evade host immunity and resist conventional antiviral strategies. However, the extreme genetic economy of the HBV genome, achieved by the use of overlapping reading frames, is a major constraint on HBV evolution and as such could b..

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