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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

An overview of HCV molecular biology, replication and immune responses

Usman A Ashfaq1*, Tariq Javed1, Sidra Rehman1, Zafar Nawaz2 and Sheikh Riazuddin3

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Molecular Medicine, National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

2 Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute, University of Miami, USA

3 Allama Iqbal Medical College, University of Health sciences, Lahore

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:161  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-161

Published: 11 April 2011

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes acute and chronic hepatitis which can eventually lead to permanent liver damage, hepatocellular carcinoma and death. Currently, there is no vaccine available for prevention of HCV infection due to high degree of strain variation. The current treatment of care, Pegylated interferon α in combination with ribavirin is costly, has significant side effects and fails to cure about half of all infections. In this review, we summarize molecular virology, replication and immune responses against HCV and discussed how HCV escape from adaptive and humoral immune responses. This advance knowledge will be helpful for development of vaccine against HCV and discovery of new medicines both from synthetic chemistry and natural sources.

Keywords:
HCV; replication; HCV entry; immune responses