More than 250 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). In this Comment, members of the International Coalition to Eliminate HBV appraise the current policy environment and the need for appropriate cure research and preparedness to complement the WHO global elimination strategy, the HBV vaccine and the well-tolerated but poorly accessed therapy.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Additional information


  1. 1.

    Razavi-Shearer, D. et al. Global prevalence, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection in 2016: a modelling study. Lancet Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 3, 383–403 (2018).

  2. 2.

    World Health Organization. Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis, 2016–2021. Towards ending viral hepatitis (WHO, 2016).

  3. 3.

    Papatheodoridis, G. V. et al. Risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B: assessment and modification with current antiviral therapy. J. Hepatol. 62, 956–967 (2015).

  4. 4.

    World Health Organization. Global hepatitis report 2017 (WHO, 2017).

  5. 5.

    Fattovich, G., Bortolotti, F. & Donato, F. Natural history of chronic hepatitis B: special emphasis on disease progression and prognostic factors. J. Hepatol. 48, 335–352 (2008).

  6. 6.

    United Nations. Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. (UN General Assembly, 2015).

  7. 7.

    Stenberg, K. et al. Financing transformative health systems towards achievement of the health Sustainable Development Goals: a model for projected resource needs in 67 low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet Global Health 5, e875–e887 (2017).

  8. 8.

    Revill, P. et al. Global strategies are required to cure and eliminate HBV infection. Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 13, 239–248 (2016).

  9. 9.

    Nayagam, S. et al. Requirements for global elimination of hepatitis B: a modelling study. Lancet. Infect. Dis. 16, 1399–1408 (2016).

  10. 10.

    Sugarman, J. et al. Ethics and hepatitis B cure research. Gut 66, 389–392 (2017).

Download references


The authors thank J. Pericàs and H. Nde for their input into an earlier draft of this article.

Author information


  1. Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

    • Jeffrey V. Lazarus
  2. Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, Doylestown, PA, USA

    • Timothy Block
  3. Global Virus Network, Baltimore, MD, USA

    • Christian Bréchot
  4. Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

    • Anna Kramvis
  5. Forum for Collaborative Research, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Veronica Miller
  6. World Hepatitis Alliance, London, UK

    • Michael Ninburg
  7. International Coalition to Eliminate HBV (ICE-HBV), The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    • Capucine Pénicaud
  8. German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Munich partner site, Munich, Germany

    • Ulrike Protzer
  9. Center for Disease Analysis Foundation, Lafayette, CO, USA

    • Homie Razavi
  10. WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, Doherty Institute, Melbourne, Australia

    • Laura A. Thomas
    •  & Benjamin C. Cowie
  11. Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia

    • Jack Wallace
  12. Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

    • Benjamin C. Cowie


  1. Search for Jeffrey V. Lazarus in:

  2. Search for Timothy Block in:

  3. Search for Christian Bréchot in:

  4. Search for Anna Kramvis in:

  5. Search for Veronica Miller in:

  6. Search for Michael Ninburg in:

  7. Search for Capucine Pénicaud in:

  8. Search for Ulrike Protzer in:

  9. Search for Homie Razavi in:

  10. Search for Laura A. Thomas in:

  11. Search for Jack Wallace in:

  12. Search for Benjamin C. Cowie in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey V. Lazarus.

Supplementary information

About this article

Publication history



Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing