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29 Nov 2018

The Origins and Evolution of the Hepatitis B Virus

Add to my calendar 29/11/2018 2:22 pm Australia/Melbourne The Origins and Evolution of the Hepatitis B Virus Auditorium DD/MM/YYYY

29 Nov 2018


At the last Doherty Seminar for 2018, Professor Stephen Locarnini will speak to The origins and evolution of the Hepatitis B virus.

The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the world’s most successful human pathogens with more than 2 billion persons been infected and over 250 million persons currently infected. The virus is the smallest double-stranded DNA virus of humans yet causes catastrophic outcomes of end-stage liver failure and liver cancer. The identification of HBVs in higher primates, that cluster phylogenetically with human HBV, as well as a number of recombinant forms between humans and primates, implies a complex origin of this virus. This has been confirmed by the recent discovery of HBV from Bronze Age fossils of humans dating back 4,500 to 7,000 years. At this presentation the current theories of the origins and evolution of HBV will be discussed as well as a model for the diversity of HBV that includes cross-species transmission and subsequent recombination on a genetic backbone of an ancient HBV genome.

Professor Stephen Locarnini is Divisional Director of Research and Development at VIDRL and Director of the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory for Hepatitis B. His current major research interests include viral hepatitis, hepatitis vaccines, and antiviral chemotherapy with an emphasis on the basic virology of the various agents of hepatitis. Apart from Hepatitis and it’s treatment, Stephen is also interested in intellectual property issues when applied to clinical virology.