July 28 – World Hepatitis Day

Every year on July 28, World Hepatitis Day is celebrated. It was on July 28 that American doctor Baruch Samuel Bloomberg, a Nobel laureate who discovered the hepatitis B virus, was born.

The first World Hepatitis Day was held in 2008 at the initiative of the International Hepatitis Alliance. In 2011, World Hepatitis Day was officially approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). On this day, WHO recommends that doctors in various countries around the world conduct educational campaigns aimed at raising public awareness about viral hepatitis, its dangers and ways to prevent infection.

Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue caused by a virus. According to the WHO, the hepatitis virus infects about 2 billion people worldwide, ie every third inhabitant of the planet.

Due to the insufficient effectiveness of conventional methods of treatment of viral hepatitis, in recent years cell therapy has been also used in the treatment of this group of diseases. Stem cells help to repair the affected liver, exert immunomodulatory effect, and, according to some researchers, possess antiviral effect.

In Ukraine, the Institute of Cell Therapy has developed methods for the treatment of viral hepatitis and liver cirrhosis using umbilical cord blood stem cells.

Administration of peripheral blood stem cells to the patients with hepatitis B with liver failure improved blood levels of ammonia (after 1 week), total bilirubin, INR, creatinine after 4 weeks (Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 53 (11), 2020). .

Administration of mesenchymal stem cells to 91 patients with hepatitis B with hepatic insufficiency significantly reduced mortality. The level of total bilirubin also decreased in 4 weeks compared with the control group (Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Oct; 30 (10): 1224-1229.)

Hygienic measures (important for protection against viruses A and E) and vaccination are of the greatest importance in the prevention of viral hepatitis. Caution during blood transfusions and sexual intercourse will help prevent hepatitis B and C viruses. Timely diagnosis is very important.