Hepatitis C databases, principles and utility to researchers


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


Part of the effort to develop hepatitis C–specific drugs and vaccines is the study of genetic variability of all publicly available HCV sequences. Three HCV databases are currently available to aid this effort and to provide additional insight into the basic biology, immunology, and evolution of the virus. The Japanese HCV database (http://s2as02.genes.nig.ac.jp) gives access to a genomic mapping of sequences as well as their phylogenetic relationships. The European HCV database (http://euhcvdb.ibcp.fr) offers access to a computer-annotated set of sequences and molecular models of HCV proteins and focuses on protein sequence, structure and function analysis. The HCV database at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States (http://hcv.lanl.gov) provides access to a manually annotated sequence database and a database of immunological epitopes which contains concise descriptions of experimental results. In this paper, we briefly describe each of these databases and their associated websites and tools, and give some examples of their use in furthering HCV research. (HEPATOLOGY 2006;43:1157–1165.)