Hepatitis C virus: Historical perspective and current concept


  • Robert H. Purcell

    Corresponding author
    1. Hepatitis Viruses Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National lnstitute fo Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Building 7, Room 202, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
      *Corresponding author. Tel.: (301) 496 6227: Fax: (301) 402 0524.
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*Corresponding author. Tel.: (301) 496 6227: Fax: (301) 402 0524.


Abstract: Over the past 30 years, hepatitis C has emerged from shadowy enigma to important of public health. The existence of the etiological agent of this disease was first appreciated two decadesago but significant progress in its understanding had to wait its molecular characterization within the past 5 years. The virus is a member of the family Flaviviridae and is the cause of aproximately 20% of clinical viral hepatitis in the United States. While the control of the transmission of hepatis C virus in blood and blood products has been nothing less than spectacular, the control of community-acquired hepatitis C will be a major challenge to the scientific and medical communities.