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Adv Virol. 2012; 2012: 267483.
Published online Jul 19, 2012. doi:  10.1155/2012/267483
PMCID: PMC3407602
Hepatitis C Variability, Patterns of Resistance, and Impact on Therapy
Cristina Simona Strahotin * and Michael Babich
Division of Gastroenterology, West Penn Allegheny Health System, 1307 Federal Street, Ste 301, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
*Cristina Simona Strahotin: cristinas24/at/yahoo.com
Academic Editor: Christoph Boesecke
Received March 13, 2012; Accepted May 10, 2012.
Abstract
Hepatitis C (HCV), a leading cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, is the most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States. Although annual incidence of infection has declined since the 1980s, aging of the currently infected population is expected to result in an increase in HCV burden. HCV is prone to develop resistance to antiviral drugs, and despite considerable efforts to understand the virus for effective treatments, our knowledge remains incomplete. This paper reviews HCV resistance mechanisms, the traditional treatment with and the new standard of care for hepatitis C treatment. Although these new treatments remain PEG-IFN-α- and ribavirin-based, they add one of the newly FDA approved direct antiviral agents, telaprevir or boceprevir. This new “triple therapy” has resulted in greater viral cure rates, although treatment failure remains a possibility. The future may belong to nucleoside/nucleotide analogues, non-nucleoside RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors, or cyclophilin inhibitors, and the treatment of HCV may ultimately parallel that of HIV. However, research should focus not only on effective treatments, but also on the development of a HCV vaccine, as this may prove to be the most cost-effective method of eradicating this disease.
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