Current Hepatitis Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 186–195 | Cite as

Hepatitis C Virus and Innate Immunity: Taking a Fresh Look into an Old Issue

Article
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Abstract

The innate immune response represents the first line of defense against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The response is an early, coordinated effort orchestrated by host interferon (IFN) production, natural killer cell activation, and dendritic cell maturation, which, when effective, primes a successful adaptive immune response, leading to resolution of infection. Numerous mechanisms allow subversion of innate immunity, often establishing chronicity and resistance to conventional antiviral therapy. Recent groundbreaking studies examining viral evasion of host defenses and genetic host determinants of response to IFN have advanced our understanding of the innate immune response to HCV. This has provided the framework for individualized treatment approaches and the development of novel therapeutics aimed at restoring innate immune signaling during chronic infection. The objective of this report is to review advances in our understanding of HCV and host innate immune defenses, and to highlight their clinical translation.

Keywords

Hepatitis C Virus Innate immunity Interferon NK cell Dendritic cell Genome wide association study Single nucleotide polymorphism IL-28B Interferon lambda Protease inhibitor 

Notes

Disclosure

J.S. Crippin received grant funding from Merck for a hepatitis C treatment trial, and has received payment for development of educational presentations for Genentech and Vertex; A. Seetharam reported no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

References

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine/Division of GastroenterologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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