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: 3.02). 01/2012; 17(7 Pt B):1459-64. DOI: 10.3851/IMP2464
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Thus, development of testing capabilities for identification of active and recent infection as well as facilitating access to care and treatment is critical for HCV control. HCV transmission networks are difficult to identify due to the silent onset of disease and the absence of methods capable to discern between acute and chronic infection [12] [13]. The intricate patterns of HCV molecular evolution, including genetic bottlenecks [14] [15], genetic drift [16] [17], staged evolution and temporal variations [18], further complicate the recognition of transmission events. "

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