The use of metabolomics as a tool to investigate hepatitis C
According to World Health Organization, an estimated 3 % of the global population is suffering from chronic hepatitis C. Furthermore, 60–70 % of chronically-infected patients develop liver diseases, of which 5–20 % of all cases advance to cirrhosis, and 1–5 % die from hepatitis C related hepatocellular carcinoma. This high incidence might be ascribed to the poor performance of the currently available diagnostic, treatment, and vaccination protocols, together with the lack of knowledge of the underlying disease mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the role that the relatively new research field termed metabolomics, alone or as part of an integrated ‘omics’ approach, has played in the investigation of hepatitis C and associated clinical manifestations. We also consider future research possibilities in this field, and the impact that these results might have on the fight against this global health predicament.