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Review

The effects of nucleoside/nucleotide analogues on host immune cells: the baseline for future immune therapy for HBV?

Lauke L Boeijen, Michelle Spaan, André Boonstra

Corresponding author name: Lauke L Boeijen
Corresponding author e-mail: l.boeijen@erasmusmc.nl

doi: 10.3851/IMP3364

Abstract

HBV is a non-cytopathic virus, and the progression of liver fibrosis is attributed to the host immune response. Complete suppression of viral replication using nucleotide or nucleoside analogs (NUCs) can prevent most complications related to chronic HBV infection. Unfortunately, antiviral treatment has to be administered lifelong to the majority of patients as HBV persists in the hepatocytes. However, although NUCs are very frequently administered in clinical practice, their effects on vital parts of the host immune response to HBV are not well established. In this review we summarize the currently available data gathered from longitudinal studies that investigated treatment-associated alterations of HBV specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, regulatory T cells, and NK cells. These observations are important, as they can guide the design of studies that investigate the efficacy of new immune therapeutic agents. Novel experimental compounds will likely be added to ongoing NUC treatment, which leads to a functional cure in only a small minority of patients.

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