Dendritic cells in chronic viral hepatitis B and C: victims or guardian angels?
- Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Correspondence to Professor H L A Janssen, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology; Erasmus MC-University Medical Center Rotterdam; ‘s-Gravendijkwal 230, Room Ha 206; 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands;
Hepatitis viruses, of which the common types are A, B and C, are hepatotropic and primarily infect hepatocytes. Both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause chronic liver disease and may elicit progressive liver injury leading to increased risk of developing liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.1 2 The outcome of infection, and the development of liver disease are determined by viral and host factors (fig 1).