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patients generally recover from acute hepatitis, while they show no symptoms but still...
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Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver characterized by jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, and nausea. Viral infection is one of the many causes of hepatitis. Although, patients are no longer exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis they may still be infected with the virus.
Viruses are obligate, intracellular parasites. This means they must enter a cell in order to replicate new viral particles. Hepatitis B viruses enter liver cells in order to replicate. In some cases, the hepatitis B virus will incorporate its genome into the host cell genome.
The virus in this stage is inactive and does not produce viral particles. Since the cell is not actively producing virus proteins (antigens), the host immune system does not recognize that the cell is infected. As such, the cell is not destroyed. Liver cell destruction by the immune system is actually what causes the symptoms of hepatitis. Additionally, since the immune system cannot recognize infected cells it cannot clear the viral infection.
The stage in which the virus has incorporated its genome into the host genome is called the lysogenic phase. Patients that have lysogenic hepatitis B virus are called carriers. This is because the hepatitis B virus can "hop" back out of the genome at any time and produce infective viral particles.
Posted by juliaswebb on August 14, 2013 at 12:46 AM (Answer #1)
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