Elucidation of the mechanism by which the hepatitis C virus evades the immune system

Research Press Release | August 27, 2013

Press Release
Key Points

– Elucidation of the mechanism by which the hepatitis C virus evades the immune response.

– Elucidation of the mechanism of persistent infection by the hepatitis C virus

– Potential for the development of low-cost drugs for hepatitis C with few side effects

Overview The hepatitis C virus is responsible for approximately 70% of cases of human liver cancer. New therapeutic drugs developed in recent years have issues with side effects and high cost. The viruses that cause colds and influenza, etc. cause transient infections and sufferers recover thanks to their removal by the human immune system, but the hepatitis C virus evades the human immune system and continues to infect the liver for decades, where it is a cause of liver cancer.

We succeeded in elucidating an important part of the mechanism whereby the hepatitis C virus evades the human immune response.

This has potential for the development of low-cost therapeutic drugs with few side effects to replace current treatments, by developing drugs that target this mechanism.

Inquiries

Hiroyuki Oshiumi, Lecturer, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University

TEL/FAX:+81-11-706-5056

e-mail:oshiumi@med.hokudai.ac.jp

Japanese Link http://www.hokudai.ac.jp/news/130820-med.pdf
Publications PLoS Pathogens (8.8.2013)

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