Viral hepatitis B: the past, the present and future directions

Özgür Muhammet Koc

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B research is important because of two aspects of the disease: (1) hepatitis B is the cause of a substantial proportion of liver-related mortality in Europe and (2) patients with hepatitis B virus infection usually have no symptoms until there is severe liver damage or liver cancer. The diagnosis of hepatitis B virus infection is therefore regularly overlooked.
Detection methods for hepatitis B virus DNA have improved over time, and with this study patients with either excellent or poor prognosis can be classified better than in the past. After assessing the current occurrence of hepatitis B in Belgium, specific advice is given in order to better treat the disease at an early stage. This advice is to test migrants without any signs of disease for hepatitis B. The thesis concludes with a particular future prospect for a new HBAI20 hepatitis B vaccine for individuals who have previously not responded to a standard hepatitis B vaccine.
By focussing on the past, present and future of hepatitis B infection, this thesis is part of the road to eliminating hepatitis B in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Robaeys, G., Supervisor, External person
  • Savelkoul, Paul, Supervisor
  • Oude Lashof, Astrid, Co-Supervisor
  • Koek, Ger, Co-Supervisor
  • Van Damme, Philip, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date29 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Hepatitis B
  • prognosis
  • prevention
  • screening
  • vaccine

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