The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America have issued new guidelines for those beginning hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment that advise undergoing screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV), Healio reports.

The recommendation was prompted by recent cases of individuals who had resolved their hep B infection seeing the virus reactivate after starting direct-acting antiviral treatment for hep C. These people were not on treatment for hep B. Their cases of reemergent HBV ranged in severity from mild to life-threatening liver injury.

The updated guidelines include an urging for health care providers to:

  • Vaccinate all those susceptible to HBV for the virus
  • Test for HBV DNA before HCV treatment among those who could have active replication of HBV
  • For those who meet the criteria for active replication of HBV, begin them on treatment for that virus before or at the same time as starting HCV treatment
  • During HCV treatment, monitor for HBV reactivation at regular intervals among those with low or undetectable HBV DNA. Begin those whose HBV DNA levels meet the criteria on treatment for the virus.

To read the Healio article, click here.