HDV Translational Science

Globally, over 40 million people are infected with the Hepatitis Delta virus (HDV). In the US, there is an alarming trend in the rise of infections. Hepatitis D remains a serious challenge for three reasons. First, there is no FDA approved therapy, and the current treatment with interferon-alpha has a very low success rate (<25%). It is the most aggressive form of viral hepatitis and results in accelerated liver-related deaths and hepatocellular carcinoma (a common form of liver cancer). Lastly, there are limited cell-culture and animal models to study the virus in order to test new antivirals. 

Research Topics

Interferon-alpha (IFN-α): Effect of Interferon-alpha Monotherapy on Hepatitis D Virus (HDV)

Currently there are no FDA approved treatments and the prevalent treatment using Interferon-alpha, however patients often relapse even after years of consistent treatment. Monotherapies are often not as effective as multi-therapy treatments, but they provide useful building blocks for foundational knowledge. IFN-α is an example of a less than optimal treatment that has formed the spine of ongoing research. In the spirit of developing a better understanding of the viral kinetics of HDV, we used mathematical modeling ( Hepatology), which was successful in developing optimal treatment strategies for patients with hepatitis C virus. This study provided the first detailed kinetic analysis of HDV during pegylated IFN-α therapy and provides new information about HDV infection including the HDV-host dynamics. IFN’s mode of action and effectiveness were also evaluated and contribute to basic science in viral dynamics in general and HDV specifically.

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Loyola University Medical Center

Department of Medicine

Division of Hepatology

2160 S. First Ave
Mulcahy Center, Rm 1610

Maywood, IL 60153, USA

Email: hdahari@luc.edu

Phone: 708-216-4682

Fax: 708-216-6299