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University of Birmingham experts are among the leading liver disease researchers gathering online at the virtual 2021 International liver Congress this week to discuss developments on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with liver disease.

Convened by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the Congress takes place between June 23 and 26 and will see the presentation of over 1,500 abstracts from research studies investigating the impact of COVID-19 on those with liver disease.

Among the research being presented by researchers from across the globe is new data indicating that people with advanced liver disease are extremely vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, and results of a study that indicates that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine confers low immunity in people with advanced liver disease.

Other announcements include new insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of alcohol related liver disease and mortality rates of people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and some encouraging data on tenofovir in preventing serious COVID-19 illness amongst people living with chronic Hepatitis B.

Philip Newsome, General Secretary of EASL and Professor of Experimental Hepatology and Director of the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham, said: “Since 1966 the International Liver Congress has helped answer the most pressing research questions in hepatology, and this year is no different.

“We are beginning to understand more clearly just how disproportionately COVID-19 is impacting on people living with liver-related diseases and the studies presented at ILC 2021 advance our knowledge on multiple fronts, knowledge that can potentially help inform policy responses to the pandemic going forward.”

Notes to Editors:

  • For more information contact Emma McKinney, Communications Manager, University of Birmingham, +44 7815607157. Alternatively, contact the Press Office out of hours on +44 (0)7789 921165.
  • For more information about the Congress, contact Michael Kessler, EASL Media Relations, tel +34 655 792 699
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, and its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from nearly 150 countries.
  • The International Liver Congress™ is EASL’s flagship event, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research and exchange clinical experience. Attending specialists present, share, debate and conclude on the latest science and research in hepatology, working to enhance the treatment and management of liver disease in clinical practice. This year, the congress is being held entirely digitally due to the global health situation.
  • Since its foundation in 1966,  The European Association for the Study of the Liver - a not-for-profit organisation - has grown to over 4,500 members from all over the world, including many of the leading hepatologists in Europe and beyond. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, having evolved into a major European association with international influence, and with an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education, and promoting changes in European liver policy.