Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Virology Journal and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Hepatitis C Treatment: current and future perspectives

Saira Munir, Sana Saleem, Muhammad Idrees*, Aaliyah Tariq, Sadia Butt, Bisma Rauff, Abrar Hussain, Sadaf Badar, Mahrukh Naudhani, Zareen Fatima, Muhmmad Ali, Liaqat Ali, Madiha Akram, Mahwish Aftab, Bushra Khubaib and Zunaira Awan

Author Affiliations

Division of Molecular Virology & Molecular Diagnostics, National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

For all author emails, please log on.

Virology Journal 2010, 7:296  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-296

Published: 1 November 2010

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a member of Flaviviridae family and one of the major causes of liver disease. There are about 175 million HCV infected patients worldwide that constitute 3% of world's population. The main route of HCV transmission is parental however 90% intravenous drug users are at highest risk. Standard interferon and ribavirin remained a gold standard of chronic HCV treatment having 38-43% sustained virological response rates. Currently the standard therapy for HCV is pegylated interferon (PEG-INF) with ribavirin. This therapy achieves 50% sustained virological response (SVR) for genotype 1 and 80% for genotype 2 & 3. As pegylated interferon is expensive, standard interferon is still the main therapy for HCV treatment in under developed countries. On the other hand, studies showed that pegylated IFN and RBV therapy has severe side effects like hematological complications. Herbal medicines (laccase, proanthocyandin, Rhodiola kirilowii) are also being in use as a natural and alternative way for treatment of HCV but there is not a single significant report documented yet. Best SVR indicators are genotype 3 and 2, < 0.2 million IU/mL pretreatment viral load, rapid virological response (RVR) rate and age <40 years. New therapeutic approaches are under study like interferon related systems, modified forms of ribavirin, internal ribosome entry site (HCV IRES) inhibitors, NS3 and NS5a inhibitors, novel immunomodulators and specifically targeted anti-viral therapy for hepatitis C compounds. More remedial therapies include caspase inhibitors, anti-fibrotic agents, antibody treatment and vaccines.