KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO WORLD HEPATITIS FORUM
Prof. M. S. Khuroo was invited by the International Society of Viral Hepatitis to deliver a key note address at the “Global Viral Hepatitis Summit” during the “15th International Symposium on viral hepatitis and Liver Diseases (15th ISVHLD)” to be held in Berlin Germany on June 26th to 28th 2015. Prof. Khuroo delivered a keynote address to the EASL (European Association for Study of Liver Disease) symposium on hepatitis E virus during the 15th ISVHLD. The keynote address addressed “Hepatitis E: A global health problem” from discovery to control and cure. The conference was attended by over 2000 delegates from all the World and included international expert from UK, Europe, the USA, China and Southeast Asia.
This symposium is organized every three years moving around the continents. Basic scientists and clinicians discuss the most recent advances to combat this very important global health burden caused by all hepatitis viruses. For the first time, this symposium was held at a place in Germany’s capital Berlin. The 15th ISVHLD was held together with the 12th Annual Meeting of the German national network of competence on viral hepatitis (HepNet) and the 1st International Symposium of the Hepatitis Section of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).
Hepatitis E was first recognized during an epidemic of hepatitis, which occurred in Kashmir valley, India in November 1978. The epidemic had affected two hundred villages with a population of over 600,000 inhabiting both sides of a large waterway, Ningli-Nallah. The region had extreme weather conditions and primitive healthcare facilities. An ingenious house-house field survey was conducted with the services of over 500 health-care workers. The epidemiological, clinical, biochemical, liver histology and 18 months follow up of icteric cases revealed data which were unique and unprecedented. The disease, entitled epidemic non-A, non-B hepatitis had caused colossal human suffering and loss of life and an estimated 52,000 patients had icteric disease with around 1700 deaths. Based on these unique clinical and epidemiological features and sera lacking serological markers of acute hepatitis A and hepatitis B, existence of another human hepatitis virus distinct from post-transfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis (later identified as HCV) was conceived. The data were received with great interest by the international scientific community. However, this report was not without skepticism from some international experts who believed that this was a classical epidemic of hepatitis A. In 1983, Prof. Khuroo described acute sporadic non-A, non-B hepatitis resembling epidemic non-A, non-B hepatitis. The disease was enteric in transmission, showed person-to-person spread, occurred in adults (15–45 years), had high mortality in pregnant women and did not progress to chronic liver disease.