Generic placeholder image

Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology


ISSN (Print): 1389-2010
ISSN (Online): 1873-4316

Hepatitis C Virus Clearance: The Enigma of Failure Despite an Impeccable Survival Strategy

Author(s): Maria G. Isaguliants

Volume 4, Issue 3, 2003

Page: [169 - 183] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/1389201033489856

Price: $65


Infection with human hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a result of a bilateral process of host-virus interactions. There are factors on both sides that contribute to clearance and to chronicity. Virus strategy to survive is built on several basic features. The first, recently recognized, is a wide cell tropism. HCV can infect not only hepatocytes, but also cells of immune system (B-cells, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells), epithelium, and immunologically privileged sites such as the central nervous system. Dendritic cells and platelets can also be passive virus carriers. Possibilities of virus clearance or abortive inapparent HCV infection at the stage of adsorption are considered. The second feature is rapid error-prone replication that leads to accumulation within one host of multiple virus variants (quasispecies). Viral heterogeneity could be multiplied by recombination of HCV genomic / subgenomic RNA molecules. Quasispecies nature gives virus an advantage in adaptation to varying host environment including availability of permissive cells, the presence of innate and adaptive immune response, and antiviral treatment. Analysis of HCV polymorphisms and their evolution rates may pinpoint the molecular (sequence) correlates of HCV clearance. The third feature is the capacity to modify or adapt host milieu. HCV core, envelope E2 and nonstructural NS2, NS3, NS5A proteins seem to hold a grip over the host cellular functions by down-regulating processes unfavorable and up-regulating processes favorable for virus replication and persistence. The relevance of the latter interactions to HCV infection outcome remains to be demonstrated. This review discusses recent developments in this area of HCV research. (248 words)

Keywords: hepatitis c virus, adsorption, cell tropism, genetic polymorphism, rna recombination, immunomodulation, tumorigenesis

Rights & Permissions Print Cite
© 2024 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy