Direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) to treat hepatitis C have proven to be a spectacular success, being able to cure more than 95% of people who have been living with the virus. However, a growing issue has implications for the design of future DAAs, and that is the ability of the hepatitis C virus–like all viruses–to mutate. Mutant versions of viruses can “learn” to defeat the medications used to treat them by changing their structure or the way they interact with the bodies they infect.
When they help the virus evade the effects of medication, we call these changes “drug resistance mutations” (DRMs), and they can make it much harder to cure infections. When a drug-resistant version of a virus becomes the dominant one, it can make a previously useful drug completely ineffective.
Continue reading “Hepatitis C Drug Resistance”
Hep Can’t Wait is the international campaign launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2021. Its aim is to highlight the social injustice and inequity caused by the current lack of action on hepatitis elimination, and focus on the positive action needed to meet the world’s 2030 hepatitis elimination goals.
Continue reading “Asia-Pacific Consensus”
Danish scientists have solved the question of how the hepatitis C virus (HCV) hides in humans. With a new method for examining virus samples, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have solved a long-standing mystery about how the virus avoids the human body’s immune defence system. The result may have an impact on how we track and treat viral diseases in general. The study has just been published in the scientific journal Nature.
Continue reading “How Hep C Hides from the Immune System”
Australian policy makers must act to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) in prisons or we won’t be able to achieve critical public health goals like eliminating hepatitis C. This was the call in a consensus statement released by the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group.
Continue reading “The Weakest Link”
Prof. Satdarshan Singh Monga discusses his team’s investigation into liver regeneration as an alternative to waiting for a transplant
The liver is known for its ability to regenerate (see last issue’s cover story for more information). It can completely regrow itself even after two-thirds of its mass has been surgically removed. But damage from medications, alcohol abuse or obesity can eventually cause the liver to fail. Currently, the only effective treatment for end-stage liver disease is transplantation.
Continue reading “Liver Self-Repair”
An unusual, and probably new, form of hepatitis has appeared in a number of countries this year, first being noticed in the UK, then spreading to Spain and the Netherlands and on to at least 35 other states and territories including the USA. The first group of active cases were found in March with the latest case numbers estimated at over 1000 and 22 deaths. Unusually, and alarmingly, all of the known cases have been in children. A number have required transfer to specialist children’s liver units, with a number needing lifesaving liver transplants.
Continue reading “Hepatitis and Children: Part 1 – The Mystery”