Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major problem in human health infecting 200 million chronic carriers worldwide. The HCV genome consists of a single strand of RNA and the most remarkable feature of HCV is its ability to persist in the majority (%) of infected individuals. Chronic HCV infection is associated with liver cirrhosis, the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, and extrahepatic autoimmune disease. This non-cytolytic virus has developed several mechanisms by which it can evade or subvert the host immune system. While the development of quasispecies allows the virus to escape the immune surveillance, direct interactions of HCV viral proteins with immune cells modulates host immune responses. Recently, T regulatory cells have been suggested to play a role in dampening HCV-specific T cell responses during chronic HCV infection. In addition to the virus-mediated modulation of immune response, the local environment (i.e. liver) for HCV replication influences the control of viral infection. Understanding the viral interaction with host immune system within the liver environment will prove useful to the design of new HCV therapeutics and vaccine strategies. virus.
Keywords: hepatitis c virus, immune evasion, ifn, dc, nk, t