Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is classified within the genus hepacivirus, and belongs to the family flaviviridae. The genome of the virus is ∼9.6 kb long and contains a long open reading frame, flanked by untranslated 5' and 3' sequences.

An Overview of HCV

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global public health problem since its discovery in 1989, affecting about 3% of the world’s population. The spread of HCV is caused by blood-to-blood fluids and other methods, such as mother-to-child transmission and sexual transmission. HCV is a viral envelope of a single strand RNA genome about 9.6 kb genome long and contains a long open reading frame made up of 5’ noncoding region (NCR) that starts part of the translation, downstream of open reading frame (ORF) and 3’-NCR that are key parts of HCV replication.

Major types of HCV

The HCV has six major types, such as type 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The incidence of different types of HCV is different in different regions. For example, in Mexico, the most common genotype appeared order was type 1 (69%), 2 (21.4%), and 3 (9.2%). Type 4 and 5 are rare. However, there is no subject that infects type 6. Moreover, the type 1 and 2 exhibit very similar distributions in all geographical regions.

Inhibition of HCV

HCV infections include viral particle intrusion, viral genome translation and replication, and the assembly and release of mature viral particles. Anti-HCV drugs have developed rapidly in recent years, and the new type of HCV inhibitor significantly improves the patient's continued viral response (Sustained virological response rate, SVR rate). Current antiviral therapies for HCV include poly (ethylene glycol) interferon alpha (Pegylated interferon alpha, peg-IFN-α), , , etc., which are recommended for genotype 1 HCV infection, and can improve the cure rate.

HCV and diseases

Persistent infection of HCV can cause chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. The degree of chronic infection is very high, and the progression of disease is concealed. End stage patient are often accompanied by chronic liver diseases, including fatty degeneration of liver, liver fibrosis, and even liver cancer. At present, there is no effective prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine available.


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Ferri Clodoveo. (2015). HCV syndrome: A constellation of organ- and non-organ specific autoimmune disorders, B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancer. World Journal of Hepatology, 7(3), 327.

Feld JJ. (2015). Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir for HCV Genotype 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 Infection. N Enql J Med,373(27), 2599-2607.

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