Hepatitis | Current projects
Characterising Hepatitis B in northern Australia through Molecular epidemiology - longitudinal cohort study
Chronic Hepatitis B virus is endemic in Australian Indigenous people, with a sero-prevalence of 3.6% to 26%. Rates of cirrhosis and liver cancer are also high with the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) up to 10 times higher in Indigenous compared to non-Indigenous populations. The CHARM1 study determined that the only infecting genotype was the previously rarely reported sub-genotype C4 (HBV/C4). This sub-genotype has genetic markers of increased pathogenicity and oncogenesis compared with other HBV genotypes and is a poor serological match for the current HBV vaccine. However it is unclear whether this translates into poor clinical outcomes. The CHARM2 study aims to address this question, while also determining how widespread HBV/C4 is in Indigenous Australians by expanding the range of participating locations.