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National Institutes of Health scientists and their collaborators found that hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated acute liver failure (ALF) — a rare condition that can turn fatal within days without liver transplantation — results from an uncommon encounter between a highly mutated HBV variant and an unusual immune response in the patient’s liver that is mainly sustained by antibody-producing B cells.

Scientists from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) led the project with colleagues from two Italian universities. Their study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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