Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 733–756 | Cite as

Immunological determinants of the outcomes from primary hepatitis C infection



Individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have two possible outcomes of infection, clearance or persistent infection, determined by a complex set of virus-host interactions. The focus of this review is the host mechanisms that facilitate clearance. Strong evidence points to characteristics of the cellular immune response as the key determinants of outcome, with evidence for the coordinated effects of the timing, magnitude, and breadth, as well as the intra-hepatic localisation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses being critical. The recent discovery of viral evasion strategies targeting innate immunity suggests that interferon-stimulated gene products are also important. A growing body of evidence has implicated polymorphisms in both innate and adaptive immune response genes as determinants of viral clearance in individuals with acute HCV.


Hepatitis C infection outcomes T cells cytokines antibodies interferon-stimulated genes genetic polymorphisms 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infectious DiseasesPrince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia
  2. 2.Prince of Wales Clinical SchoolUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Infection and Inflammation Research, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of New SouthWalesSydneyAustralia

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