Abstract Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious problem because of its worldwide distribution and potential untoward sequalae such as hepatic decompensation, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may occur. Studies have shown that active HBV replication and resultant hepatitis is the key for disease progression to these untoward sequalae. Successful antiviral therapy using interferon or lamivudine has been shown to halt disease progression, reverse hepatic fibrosis, reduce complications of cirrhosis including HCC and prolong survival. However, the efficacy of antiviral therapy is still not satisfactory. It is urgent to develop strategies for better therapeutic outcomes.