Antibody- and genome-based identification of recent HCV infection

Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. .
Antiviral therapy (Impact Factor: 3.14). 01/2012; 17(7 Pt B):1459-64. DOI: 10.3851/IMP2464
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The diagnosis of recent HCV infection remains challenging due to the absence of serological markers specific to the early phase of infection. Clinical follow-up and seroconversion to anti-HCV immunoglobulin (Ig)G, detection of viral RNA and changes in levels of blood biomarkers associated with liver pathology provide circumstantial evidence of recent HCV infection. Studies based on anti-HCV IgG avidity, antigen-specific antibody profiling, HCV viral load fluctuations and signature changes in the HCV genome show potential to discriminate recent from persistent HCV infection. These markers require further evaluation and would necessitate use of samples from infected people originating from broad clinical and epidemiological contexts.

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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents an important public health problem worldwide. Reduction of HCV morbidity and mortality is a current challenge owned to several viral and host factors. Virus molecular evolution plays an important role in HCV transmission, disease progression and therapy outcome. The high degree of genetic heterogeneity characteristic of HCV is a key element for the rapid adaptation of the intrahost viral population to different selection pressures (e.g., host immune responses and antiviral therapy). HCV molecular evolution is shaped by different mechanisms including a high mutation rate, genetic bottlenecks, genetic drift, recombination, temporal variations and compartmentalization. These evolutionary processes constantly rearrange the composition of the HCV intrahost population in a staging manner. Remarkable advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanism controlling HCV replication have facilitated the development of a plethora of direct-acting antiviral agents against HCV. As a result, superior sustained viral responses have been attained. The rapidly evolving field of anti-HCV therapy is expected to broad its landscape even further with newer, more potent antivirals, bringing us one step closer to the interferon-free era.
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    Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 03/2014; 60(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jcv.2014.03.016 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important public health problem worldwide. HCV exploits complex molecular mechanisms, which result in a high degree of intrahost genetic heterogeneity. This high degree of variability represents a challenge for the accurate establishment of genetic relatedness between cases and complicates the identification of sources of infection. Tracking HCV infections is crucial for the elucidation of routes of transmission in a variety of settings. Therefore, implementation of HCV advanced molecular surveillance (AMS) is essential for disease control. Accounting for virulence is also important for HCV AMS and both viral and host factors contribute to the disease outcome. Therefore, HCV AMS requires the incorporation of host factors as an integral component of the algorithms used to monitor disease occurrence. Importantly, implementation of comprehensive global databases and data mining are also needed for the proper study of the mechanisms responsible for HCV transmission. Here, we review molecular aspects associated with HCV transmission, as well as the most recent technological advances used for virus and host characterization. Additionally, the cornerstone discoveries that have defined the pathway for viral characterization are presented and the importance of implementing advanced HCV molecular surveillance is highlighted.
    Viruses 03/2015; 7(3):1153-1188. DOI:10.3390/v7031153 · 3.28 Impact Factor


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May 19, 2014