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Keywords:

  • hepatitis C virus (HCV);
  • non-A non-B (NANB) hepatitis;
  • post-transfusion hepatitis (PTH)

The identification of hepatitis A and hepatitis B led to the recognition that a third virus was capable of causing blood-borne hepatitis. The pathogen responsible for this nonA, nonB hepatitis was identified in the late 1980s and subsequently named hepatitis C. Since the discovery of hepatitis C there has been a pandemic of research publications describing the natural history of the infection and it is now known that this virus can cause serious liver damage in a proportion of infected patients. It is now clear that the effects of infection with hepatitis C and alcohol misuse are additive and that there is an increased risk of hepatic complications in infected patients who abuse alcohol.