Congress focuses on impact of COVID-19 on global liver disease

Coronavirus stock image.
Speakers will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Birmingham experts are among the leading liver disease researchers gathering online at the virtual 2021 International Liver Congress (23-25 June) 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.”

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