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Keywords:

  • end-stage renal failure;
  • environmental transmission;
  • haemodialysis;
  • hepatitis B;
  • treatment;
  • vaccine

ABSTRACT:

The incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in dialysis populations has declined over recent decades, largely because of improvements in infection control and widespread implementation of HBV vaccination. Regardless, outbreaks of infection continue to occur in dialysis units, and prevalence rates remain unacceptably high. For a variety of reasons, dialysis patients are at increased risk of acquiring HBV. They also demonstrate different disease manifestations compared with healthy individuals and are more likely to progress to chronic carriage. This paper will review the epidemiology, modes of transmission and diagnosis of HBV in this population. Prevention and treatment will be discussed, with a specific focus on strategies to improve vaccination response, new therapeutic options and selection of patients for therapy.