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Health Agencies Update
June 16, 1999

Spare the Liver

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JAMA. 1999;281(23):2175. doi:10.1001/jama.281.23.2175-JHA90004-4-1

Conventional wisdom holds that when the body is infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), the severe liver damage suffered by some patients is caused by cytotoxic T cells that seek out and destroy infected liver cells. Now, however, new research by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) scientists and grantees suggests that the immune system usually succeeds in purging most of the virus from the body by interfering with HBV's ability to reproduce—a gentler, liver-sparing strategy (Science. 1999;284:825-829).

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