Advances in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatitis C Virus Infection

Marco Ciotti, Cartesio D’Agostini, Aldo Marrone


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a major health problem worldwide. Approximately 350,000 people die every year from hepatitis C related diseases. Antiviral therapy is given to prevent such complications. Advances in serological and molecular assays greatly improved the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection and the management of chronically infected patients. Sensitive real-time PCR methods are currently used to monitor the response to antiviral therapy, to guide treatment decisions, and to assess the sustained virological response 24 weeks after the end of therapy. HCV genotyping is part of the pretreatment evaluation. Determination of HCV genotype is important both for tailoring antiviral treatment and for determining treatment duration. It predicts also response to therapy. With the recent introduction of the serine protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir, approved for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C in combination with INF-a and ribavirin, subtyping has become clinically relevant. Indeed, subtypes 1a and 1b may respond differently to current telaprevir-based or boceprevir-based triple therapy. This review summarizes the most recent advances in the diagnosis and monitoring of HCV chronic infection.



HCV genotypes; Quantitative HCV real-time; HCV serology; Antiviral therapy

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Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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