Euroasian Journal of Hepato-Gastroenterology

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2020 ) > List of Articles

SHORT COMMUNICATION

Discovery of Hepatitis C Virus: 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Hemshankar Laugi

Keywords : Chronic hepatitis C, CRISPR-Cas system, DAA drugs, Hepatitis C virus, Pegylated interferon

Citation Information : Laugi H. Discovery of Hepatitis C Virus: 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Euroasian J Hepatogastroenterol 2020; 10 (2):105-108.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10018-1326

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 06-01-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) accounts for hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplantation. This virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that belongs to the Flaviviridae family. According to the WHO, about 71 million people have chronic HCV infections around the globe in 2020, and hence, it is a plague of humankind. The credit of discovery of HCV goes to Michael Houghton, Harvey Alter, and Charles Rice for which they are awarded 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Their contribution has given better hope to mankind to cure HCV for the first time in the history. With the use of pegylated interferon and ribavirin jointly, higher SVR has been found comparatively, even in patients with chronic liver diseases. However, due to excessive pain tolerated by patients, interferon (IFN)-based therapy is rapidly being replaced with IFN-free DAA regimens. With the onset of resistance to DAA drugs, CRISPR-Cas system can be used to modify the viral genome to impair their ability to develop resistance.


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