In vitro models for analysis of the hepatitis C virus life cycle

Authors

  • Hussein H. Aly,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-15, Nishi-7, Kita-ku
    2. Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis and Host Defense, Hokkaido University Creative Research Institution, Kita-22, Nishi-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638
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  • Kunitada Shimotohno,

    1. Research Institute, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino 275-0016, Chiba
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  • Makoto Hijikata,

    1. Department of Virology, Virus Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
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  • Tsukasa Seya

    1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-15, Nishi-7, Kita-ku
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Hussein H. Aly, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan. Tel: +81 11 706 5073; fax: +81 11 706 5056; email: ahussein@med.hokudai.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects approximately 170 million people worldwide. HCV infection is a major global health problem as it can be complicated with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. So far, there is no vaccine available and the non-specific, interferon (IFN)-based treatments now in use have significant side-effects and are frequently ineffective, as only approximately 50% of treated patients with genotypes 1 and 4 demonstrate HCV clearance. The lack of suitable in vitro and in vivo models for the analysis of HCV infection has hampered elucidation of the HCV life cycle and the development of both protective and therapeutic strategies against HCV infection. The present review focuses on the progress made towards the establishment of such models.

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