Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, anorexia and malaise. Hepatitis is primarily caused by hepatitis viruses but can also be caused by substance absue, alcoholism, certain drugs, autoimmune diseases etc,. Approximately 500 million people worldwide are living with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C and if left untreated would lead to irresversible liver damage and liver failure. Every year, 1.5 million people worldwide die from either hepatitis B or C infection which is much more than AIDS related deaths per year.
Treatment is dependent on the type of virus infection. While Hepatitis A and E are treated only symptomatically, Hepatitis B is treated with iamivudine and adefovir dipivoxil and Hepatitis C with combination of Peginterferon and ribovarin. Severe cases of Hepatitis would require liver transplantation.