Immunologic Research

, Volume 47, Issue 1–3, pp 216–227 | Cite as

Hepatitis C virus evasion of adaptive immune responses: a model for viral persistence

Article

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects over 170 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Approximately 80% of those acutely infected clear the infection, whereas the remaining 20% progress to chronic infection. Hepatitis C thus provides a model in which successful and unsuccessful responses can be compared to better understand the human response to viral infection. Our laboratory studies the strategies by which HCV evades the adaptive immune response. This review describes the impact of viral mutation on T cell recognition, the role of cell surface inhibitory receptors in recognition of HCV, and the development of antibodies that neutralize HCV infection. Understanding what constitutes an effective immune response in the control of HCV may enable the development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for HCV and other chronic viral infections.

Keywords

Hepatitis C virus CD8 T cell Viral immunity Viral escape Epitope variant 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by NIH grants U19AI040035, R01DA024565, R01AI077757 and 5T32GM007309, as well as grants from The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and The Dana Foundation.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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