Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the causative agent of B-type hepatitis in humans, a vaccine-preventable disease. Despite the availability of effective vaccines, globally, 2 billion people show evidence of past or current HBV infection, of which 350 million people are persistently infected, with an estimated annual increase of 1 million. There is no cure for chronic HBV infections, which are associated with cirrhotic liver failure and with an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis antiviral research has focused primarily on the development of inhibitors of viral polymerase through the use of nucleoside analogues. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of non-nucleoside compounds to be used as an alternative or to complement the current therapy. To address this need, 18 isoquinoline alkaloids were evaluated for their potential antiviral activity against HBV in vitro.
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