Author(s): Brenndrfer ED, Sllberg M
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Abstract The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease globally. A chronic infection can result in liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver failure in a significant ratio of the patients. About 170 million people are currently infected with HCV. Since 80 \% of the infected patients develop a chronic infection, HCV has evolved sophisticated escape strategies to evade both the innate and the adaptive immune system. Thus, chronic hepatitis C is characterized by perturbations in the number, subset composition and/or functionality of natural killer cells, natural killer T cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and T cells. The balance between HCV-induced immune evasion and the antiviral immune response results in chronic liver inflammation and consequent immune-mediated liver injury. This review summarizes our current understanding of the HCV-mediated interference with cellular immunity and of the factors resulting in HCV persistence. A profound knowledge about the intrinsic properties of HCV and its effects on intrahepatic immunity is essential to be able to design effective immunotherapies against HCV such as therapeutic HCV vaccines.
This article was published in Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz)
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology