, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 23-35

Hepatitis C virus and autoimmunity

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Abstract

Hepatitis C virus infection is associated with several extrahepatic manifestations. About 60% of patients infected with HCV develop at least one extrahepatic manifestation. The majority of these diseases seem to be triggered through autoimmune mechanisms, such as autoantibody production, autoreactive T cells and complex autoimmune mechanisms leading to systemic autoimmune disorders. In this review we categorize these diseases into three groups according to the main pathogenetic process involved, in particular B-cell-mediated, T-cell-mediated and complex autoimmune systemic diseases.