Institute of Immunopharmacology & Immunotherapy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, 44 Wenhua West Road, Jinan, 250012, China.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the main causes of chronic liver diseases. Whether HBV infection is cleared or persists is determined by both viral factors and host immune responses. It becomes clear that innate immunity is of importance in protecting the host from HBV infection and persistence. However, HBV develops strategies to suppress the antiviral immune responses. A combined therapeutic strategy with both viral suppression and enhancement of antiviral immune responses is needed for effective long-term clearance and cure for chronic HBV infection. We and others confirmed that bifunctional siRNAs with both gene silencing and innate immune activation properties are beneficial for inhibition of HBV and represent a potential approach for treatment of viral infection. Understanding the nature of liver innate immunity and their roles in chronic HBV progression and HBV clearance may aid in the design of novel therapeutic strategies for chronic HBV infection.