Hepatitis B treatable with unique new strategy—using bacterial DNA

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Two hepatitis B virus vaccines are currently on the market. Earlier in November, however, the Food and Drug Administration licensed another hepatitis B vaccine. This new vaccine employs a unique strategy: fighting the hepatitis B virus with … bacterial DNA.

It’s identical to the two existing hepatitis B vaccines—which have been available since the 1990s—in that it contains 20 micrograms of a protein that is located on the surface of the virus. But unlike these other hepatitis B vaccines, the new vaccine also contains 3 milligrams of repeated linkages of cytosine and guanine—a molecular pattern unique to bacterial DNA called CpG oligonucleotides. It’s the first time this immune-boosting product has been used in a vaccine.


The FDA licensed this novel hepatitis B vaccine for people older than 18 years of age in certain high-risk groups like household contacts of someone who is infected, injection drug users, healthcare workers, or people with HIV, diabetes, or chronic lung or kidney diseases.

Ironically, the best way to address the problems with the hepatitis B vaccine—as well as with any strategy necessitating the induction of long-lasting, specific immunity—might be to solicit the help of a part of our immune system that is designed to respond to something entirely different.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Ancient Bacterial DNA Could Thwart a Devastating Disease

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