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Chapter 10 : Hepatitis C Virus

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Abstract:

Using molecular biological techniques, a viral genome was cloned from the serum of a chimpanzee infected with non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis. The virus was designated the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and has been shown to be the major causative agent of NANB hepatitis. Since then, HCV has emerged as a major cause of chronic liver disease with a prevalence of 1.8% in the United States. Studies of HCV have been hampered by the lack of an easy animal or tissue culture model. HCV has been classified as the third genus of the family, which, together with pestiviruses and flaviviruses, are single-stranded RNA viruses with a positive polarity and share a similar genomic structure and organization. Immunohistochemical studies have shown that HCV antigens are widespread in the liver within the cytoplasm of hepatocytes and also within the infiltrating lymphoid aggregates. HCV appears to be the dominant factor associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in areas with intermediate rates of HCC, whereas hepatitis B virus is the dominant factor in areas with higher rates of HCC. Great strides have been made in understanding the virology and immunology of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and therapeutic regimens have recently achieved suppression of viral replication to undetectable levels. Therapeutic trials for NANB hepatitis using interferon-alpha were initiated in the 1980s before diagnostic tests for HCV were available. The development of infectious cDNA clones is a great stride forward as it will permit the use of a standard infectious inoculum without quasispecies.

Citation: Wong D, Walker B. 1998. Hepatitis C Virus, p 301-329. In McCance D (ed), Human Tumor Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818289.ch10

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Figure 1

Structure and function of the various HCV genomic regions and proteins. See Table 1 .

Citation: Wong D, Walker B. 1998. Hepatitis C Virus, p 301-329. In McCance D (ed), Human Tumor Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818289.ch10
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