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Friday, July 28, 2017

News Recap

WHD 2017 Victoria, BC in Pictures
The weather was perfect; the organization and volunteers did great!!!!  The speakers were fabulous!! I only wish more people had shown up!!!  Big thanks to VPWAS and AVI for helping to make this important event a reality! Click on photos to see larger image in a new window!

Should we be worried about hepatitis E?
Hepatitis E virus infection (HEV) is the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis worldwide. The infection usually resolves within weeks, but sometimes it causes acute liver failure, which may be fatal. But did you know that HEV has the potential to become a chronic infection, especially in immunosuppressed patients? This is a risk in South Africa, where there are many HIV-infected patients. Hepatitis E gets little press compared to its better-known cousins A, B and C, but Stellenbosch University virologists say we should wake up to how transmission of this virus is changing.

Opinion: Renew strategy to achieve a hepatitis C free future
Be sure to read this great WHD opinion piece by Daryl Luster. As Daryl notes, we in BC have much to be thankful for with respect to the strides we have made in treating and eradicating the disease in this province.  But what about the vast number of Canadians (boomers) who are unknowingly carrying a potentially fatal time bomb inside their bodies, and the amazing position the federal government has taken regarding screening them.  It really grieves me.  In this respect, have you signed the CanHepC letter to the federal health minister yet?  If not, you can do so here:  https://www.change.org/p/canhepc-open-letter-hepatitis-c-prevention-care-treatment-for-all?

Liver transplant news to know: Complication prediction and more
People undergoing liver transplant are at increased risk for cardiovascular events. Knowing the patient’s risk is critical to help prevent the frequent cardiac complications that accompany liver transplant surgery and to determine which patients are likely to survive the transplant. So researchers have developed an app that helps predict cardiovascular complications after liver transplant.

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle
Did you know that men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women? In an attempt to explain the disparity between the two, suggestions have been made that lifestyle choices, such as drinking, smoking or even how much water a person drinks, might be the reason. But the study found that even when accounting for these different factors, sex was still a strong, independent indicator of liver disease risk in the hepatitis B patients. Men consistently were two times as likely as women to develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.

First Patient Treated In Trial of a Novel Liver Dialysis Device, DIALIVE
Now this is exciting! The first patient in an international trial of a new liver dialysis system has been recruited at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The device, called DIALIVE, was invented by scientists and doctors at University College London (UCL) and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. “Many patients with liver failure are relatively well until the time they present to the hospital,” said Professor Rajiv Jalan, the Coordinator of the ALIVER project and an inventor of DIALIVE at UCL. “Within a matter of 28-days, about 25% of these patients will die with multi organ failure. Given the huge regeneration potential of the liver, many can recover,” he said. “DIALIVE removes toxins that accumulate in liver failure to prevent inflammation. It has the potential to allow the liver to regenerate.”

Compound Found in Plums Shown to Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus Entry
And last, a naturally occurring compound in plums has been found to block the entry of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) into cultured liver cells. This finding could have positive implications for the development of new drugs to treat the disease. The discovery was made by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore focused on a flavonoid called rutin found in the common plum. Rutin inhibited HCV-like particles from binding to hepatoma cells and inhibited HCV from entering the cells during the virus’s initial entry stage.