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The molecular basis for responsiveness to anti-viral therapy in hepatitis C.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Forum (Genoa, Italy)
Publication Date
Volume
10
Issue
1
Pages
46–58
Identifiers
PMID: 10717257
Source
Medline

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important clinical problem, with a world-wide prevalence of approximately 1-2%. HCV infection is associated with an increased risk for the development of severe liver disease. HCV is inherently resistant to anti-viral therapy with interferon (IFN). The virus circulates in infected individuals as a mixture of related, yet genetically distinct variants, or quasispecies. Many studies have implicated HCV quasispecies in IFN responsiveness. Effective containment of HCV quasispecies mutation and selection through more aggressive therapy (e.g. daily induction), combination therapy (e.g. IFN plus ribavirin), or longer lasting therapy (e.g. pegylated IFN) is required for IFN responsiveness. Recently, several HCV proteins including the non-structural 5A and envelope gene 2-glycoprotein have been implicated in HCV anti-viral resistance. It is likely that multiple HCV genes disrupt IFN-induced anti-viral responses at many levels and that these virus-host cell interactions are associated with IFN resistance. Characterisation of HCV-encoded mechanisms of anti-viral resistance has important implications for the development of new anti-virals.

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