Hepatitis C Research Paper

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA positive virus. HCV causes both acute and chronic hepatitis C, which can lead to liver disease. HCV infects 130 to 150 million people worldwide. HCV is spread by blood transfusions [1]. Unfortunately, no vaccine for HCV is available because of the fact that the HCV life cycle has not been reproduced in cell culture, which resulted in slowing research progress of this human virus [2]. On the other hand, 15-20% of chronic hepatitis C patients achieve a sustained response to interferon therapy [3]. In addition, ribavirin is a purine nucleoside analog, which has an incompletely understood mechanism of action on hepatitis C virus [4]. According to Spach and Kim" In patients with chronic hepatitis C, initial therapy with interferon and ribavirin was more effective than treatment with interferon alone". …show more content…
The consequences of long-term infection are liver damage, liver cancer, and possibly death [5]. HCV infects the normal cell, then shuts down functions of the cell and starts to use the cell to create new viruses. The infected cells stop functioning normally. These cells begin to leak an enzyme called alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which is produced in liver cells. Nevertheless, the normal level of ALT is from 7 to 56 units per liter. When ALT increases in the blood stream, it will be the first sign of liver damage [6]. Ribavirin is used as a treatment for hepatitis C virus. The mechanism of action against the virus is not clearly understood. However, investigators have suggested four potential sites where ribavirin can act against HCV: 1) increasing of host T cell, 2) inhibition of the host enzyme (IMPDH), 3) inhibition of HCV replication, and 4) induction of RNA virus mutagenesis

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