July 28 is World Day against viral hepatitis

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A disease that is estimated to affect 325 details million people worldwide, many of whom are unaware that they have contracted the viruses. In a statement, the Italian Clinical Microbiologists Association draws attention to this type of infection, which if left untreated can have important consequences for health

Worldwide, 28 July is World Day Against Viral Hepatitis, a group of infections estimated to affect 325 million people worldwide, many of whom are unaware that they have contracted the viruses.

On the occasion of this date, the AMCLI ETS – Italian Clinical Microbiologists Association issued a statement that aims to raise awareness of pathologies that can pose serious risks to the health of patients and to the community to which they belong.

In the world, still struggling to control the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants, there are still serious threats to the health of millions of people, attributable to the infections caused by the 5 viruses responsible for primary hepatitis.

It is therefore necessary to maintain high attention, especially on those patients who contract and develop the infection in a completely unconscious way, thus putting their own and others’ health at risk.

Today there are five well-known viruses (hepatitis A-B-C-D-E viruses) which, when associated with liver infections, cause considerable morbidity and mortality.The hepatitis A and E viruses cause acute infections that usually heal; in rare cases, a form of fulminant hepatitis may occur, which may require transplantation and, in some cases, be fatal.

  1. Virus A is mainly transmitted through contaminated food, and is preventable with a vaccine (100% effective) which does not fall into the mandatory group, but is strongly recommended.
  2. The hepatitis E virus causes widespread epidemics mainly caused by the consumption of unclean water in developing countries.

In Western countries, however, including Italy, it causes small epidemics linked to the consumption of poorly or completely cooked pork. Serious complications may occur in organs other than the liver, and chronicity in immunosuppressed subjects (e.g. transplant recipients).

We need to make our doctors aware of this infection, which is still little considered.

The hepatitis B and C viruses in recent years have seen enormous progress in the capacity for prevention (vaccine for the B virus) and treatment (antivirals for B and C viruses, in the latter case the therapy is eradication). Both can lead to chronic infections. (see screening campaign of the Veneto Region)

Virus D causes infections only in the presence of virus B, which considerably complicates the clinical picture.

  • We need to make our doctors aware of this infection, which is still little considered.For all these viruses, infection in the chronic form tends over the years to cause worsening and irreversible liver disease, sometimes associated with carcinoma.
  • “AMCLI’s commitment – underlines Pierangelo Clerici, President of AMCLI ETS and Director of U.O.

Microbiology A.S.S.T Ovest Milanese – goes in the direction of encouraging the fight against viral hepatitis by promoting and supporting the hepatitis C screening program with the Clinical Microbiology laboratory activities to identify and treat patients with chronic hepatitis and the genetic study of viruses to detect early onset of drug resistance.

Not least by facilitating the comparison and integration with clinicians in order to promote the expansion ofprevention against Hepatitis B by vaccination and the approval of the new therapy for Hepatitis Delta”.


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