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      Immunology of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection

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      Nature Reviews Immunology
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          More than 500 million people worldwide are persistently infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) and are at risk of developing chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite many common features in the pathogenesis of HBV- and HCV-related liver disease, these viruses markedly differ in their virological properties and in their immune escape and survival strategies. This review assesses recent advances in our understanding of viral hepatitis, contrasts mechanisms of virus-host interaction in acute hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and outlines areas for future studies.

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          Most cited references104

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          HLA and NK cell inhibitory receptor genes in resolving hepatitis C virus infection.

          Natural killer (NK) cells provide a central defense against viral infection by using inhibitory and activation receptors for major histocompatibility complex class I molecules as a means of controlling their activity. We show that genes encoding the inhibitory NK cell receptor KIR2DL3 and its human leukocyte antigen C group 1 (HLA-C1) ligand directly influence resolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This effect was observed in Caucasians and African Americans with expected low infectious doses of HCV but not in those with high-dose exposure, in whom the innate immune response is likely overwhelmed. The data strongly suggest that inhibitory NK cell interactions are important in determining antiviral immunity and that diminished inhibitory responses confer protection against HCV.
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            Infectious Hepatitis C Virus Pseudo-particles Containing Functional E1–E2 Envelope Protein Complexes

            The study of hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major cause of chronic liver disease, has been hampered by the lack of a cell culture system supporting its replication. Here, we have successfully generated infectious pseudo-particles that were assembled by displaying unmodified and functional HCV glycoproteins onto retroviral and lentiviral core particles. The presence of a green fluorescent protein marker gene packaged within these HCV pseudo-particles allowed reliable and fast determination of infectivity mediated by the HCV glycoproteins. Primary hepatocytes as well as hepato-carcinoma cells were found to be the major targets of infection in vitro. High infectivity of the pseudo-particles required both E1 and E2 HCV glycoproteins, and was neutralized by sera from HCV-infected patients and by some anti-E2 monoclonal antibodies. In addition, these pseudo-particles allowed investigation of the role of putative HCV receptors. Although our results tend to confirm their involvement, they provide evidence that neither LDLr nor CD81 is sufficient to mediate HCV cell entry. Altogether, these studies indicate that these pseudo-particles may mimic the early infection steps of parental HCV and will be suitable for the development of much needed new antiviral therapies.
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              Determinants of Viral Clearance and Persistence during Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection

              The virological and immunological features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were studied weekly for 6 months after accidental needlestick exposure in five health care workers, four of whom developed acute hepatitis that progressed to chronicity while one subject cleared the virus. In all subjects, viremia was first detectable within 1–2 weeks of inoculation, 1 month or more before the appearance of virus-specific T cells. The subject who cleared the virus experienced a prolonged episode of acute hepatitis that coincided with a CD38+ IFN-γ− CD8+ T cell response to HCV and a small reduction in viremia. Subsequently, a strong CD4+ T cell response emerged and the CD8+ T cells became CD38− and started producing IFN-γ in response to HCV, coinciding with a rapid 100,000-fold decrease in viremia that occurred without a corresponding surge of disease activity. Chronic infection developed in two subjects who failed to produce a significant T cell response and in two other subjects who initially mounted strong CD4+ T cell responses that ultimately waned. In all subjects, viremia was higher at the peak of acute hepatitis than it was when the disease began, and the disease improved during the viremia. These results provide the first insight into the host–virus relationship in humans during the incubation phase of acute HCV infection, and they provide the only insight to date into the virological and immunological characteristics of clinically asymptomatic acute HCV infection, the commonest manifestation of this disease. In addition, the results suggest that the vigor and quality of the antiviral T cell response determines the outcome of acute HCV infection, that the ability of HCV to outpace the T cell response may contribute to its tendency to persist; that the onset of hepatitis coincides with the onset of the CD8+T cell response, that disease pathogenesis and viral clearance are mediated by different CD8+ T cell populations that control HCV by both cytolytic and noncytolytic mechanisms, and that there are different pathways to viral persistence in asymptomatic and symptomatic acute HCV infection.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Immunology
                Nat Rev Immunol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1474-1733
                1474-1741
                March 2005
                March 2005
                : 5
                : 3
                : 215-229
                Article
                10.1038/nri1573
                15738952
                bf3a82af-9a64-40ab-8e64-42b2b87564d3
                © 2005

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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