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Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the liver, where it causes significant inflammation, damage and disruption of normal liver function. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 3 to 4 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C every year.

The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual and, most commonly, people catch it through sharing contaminated needles when injecting illegal drugs.

Hepatitis C infection is categorized into an acute and a chronic stage. The acute phase describes the first 6 months of infection when there are not necessarily any symptoms. Around one quarter of people manage to clear the infection during this stage before disease progresses to the chronic stage.

People who go on to develop chronic hepatitis C may develop jaundice which turns the skin and whites of the eyes yellow. This is caused by the build-up of a yellow-colored substance in the blood called bilirubin that would usually be broken down by the liver if it was healthy. Chronic infection may eventually cause fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver failure.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medications that that are designed to disrupt the multiplication of virus particles inside the body and prevent liver damage.
NEJM suggests use of HCV-positive kidneys as one solution to kidney shortage

NEJM suggests use of HCV-positive kidneys as one solution to kidney shortage

The average wait time for a kidney transplant is five years and there are more than 100,000 people on the waiting list. However, there are thousands of viable hepatitis C-positive kidneys that are discarded each year solely because they're infected. [More]
Researchers report new drug combination that effectively treats HCV patients co-infected with HIV

Researchers report new drug combination that effectively treats HCV patients co-infected with HIV

Roughly 20 to 30 percent of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). Both blood-borne viruses share the same modes of transmission, but many HCV medications currently have significant limitations due to adverse interactions with HIV treatments. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a new combination that effectively treats HCV in patients co-infected with HIV. [More]
ICER’s drug assessment program to provide trusted source of information about new drugs

ICER’s drug assessment program to provide trusted source of information about new drugs

With drug prices for cancer and many other conditions soaring to new highs amid questions about their true value to patients, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review today launched a program to transform the way new drugs are evaluated and priced in the United States. [More]
Risk of hepatobiliary cancer, cardiovascular diseases later in life is higher in women with ICP

Risk of hepatobiliary cancer, cardiovascular diseases later in life is higher in women with ICP

In a new study of more than 125,000 pregnant women in Sweden, researchers found that the risk of hepatobiliary cancer and immune-mediated and cardiovascular diseases later in life is higher in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) than in women without this condition. [More]
Unique diagnostic test could help detect world's deadliest superbugs, infectious diseases

Unique diagnostic test could help detect world's deadliest superbugs, infectious diseases

Infectious diseases such as hepatitis C and some of the world's deadliest superbugs--C. difficile and MRSA among them--could soon be detected much earlier by a unique diagnostic test, designed to easily and quickly identify dangerous pathogens. [More]
Harvard Medical School scientists reveal structure of vesicular stomatitis virus protein

Harvard Medical School scientists reveal structure of vesicular stomatitis virus protein

Viruses need us. In order to multiply, viruses have to invade a host cell and copy their genetic information. To do so, viruses encode their own replication machinery or components that subvert the host replication machinery to their advantage. [More]
Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir combination approved for hepatitis C treatment does not require antiviral drug

Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir combination approved for hepatitis C treatment does not require antiviral drug

The drug approved to treat patients infected with the hepatitis C virus needs no help from other antivirals, according to a study released online this week in the journal Hepatology. [More]
Express Scripts report shows that new exchange plan enrollees spent less on medications in Q1 2015

Express Scripts report shows that new exchange plan enrollees spent less on medications in Q1 2015

New exchange plan enrollees spent less on medications in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same time a year ago, according to the third edition of the Express Scripts Exchange Pulse report, released today. [More]
New analysis looks at costly impact of new Hepatitis C treatments in California

New analysis looks at costly impact of new Hepatitis C treatments in California

A new analysis and infographic released today estimate California's exposure to high-priced Hepatitis C medications could range from hundreds of millions of dollars, even if only 5 percent of Californians infected with Hepatitis C receive treatment through state programs. [More]
Exhausted army of immune cells may damage the very body they are supposed to protect

Exhausted army of immune cells may damage the very body they are supposed to protect

An 'exhausted' army of immune cells may not be able to fight off infection, but if its soldiers fight too hard they risk damaging the very body they are meant to be protecting, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. [More]
Hiroshima University researchers develop accurate method to detect drug resistant HCV mutation

Hiroshima University researchers develop accurate method to detect drug resistant HCV mutation

A rapid, sensitive, and accurate method to detect drug resistant hepatitis C virus (HCV) mutants has been developed. Researchers at Hiroshima University established a system to rapidly and accurately measure the presence of HCV Y93H drug resistant mutant strains, and evaluate the proportion of patients harboring this mutation prior to treatment. [More]
AASLD creates online Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C

AASLD creates online Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America and in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA, created online Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C in 2014 to aid practitioners treating patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). [More]
Implementation of needle exchange programs can prevent HIV outbreaks in Indiana

Implementation of needle exchange programs can prevent HIV outbreaks in Indiana

Congress needs to immediately lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs to counter the threat of HIV outbreaks among injection drug users like the one that has seen an alarming number of new cases erupt in a single rural Indiana county. [More]
Benitec, ReNeuron collaborate to launch new exploratory cellular therapy program

Benitec, ReNeuron collaborate to launch new exploratory cellular therapy program

Benitec Biopharma is pleased to announce the launch of a new exploratory cellular therapy program including exosome-based delivery utilising the Company's proprietary ddRNAi technology. Entry into these areas have been facilitated by the commencement of a collaboration with UK-based stem cell therapeutics company, ReNeuron. [More]
Scientists reveal new combination method that efficiently destroys cancer cells

Scientists reveal new combination method that efficiently destroys cancer cells

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur and Inserm have successfully increased the infiltration of immune cells into tumors, thus inducing the immune system to block tumor growth. In an article published in Nature Immunology, the scientists show that, in combination with existing immunotherapies, this process efficiently destroys cancer cells. [More]
Beckman Coulter brings new thinking to new lab challenges at EuroMedLab 2015

Beckman Coulter brings new thinking to new lab challenges at EuroMedLab 2015

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics supports IFCC-EFLM EuroMedLab 2015 with a showcase of solutions to improve workflow for the diagnostics laboratory. Held from 22-24 June 2015 at the Paris Palais des Congrès France, the company demonstrates its dedication to moving the clinical diagnostic lab forward with its total laboratory solution—from automation, chemistry, immunoassay and haematology to microbiology and its new molecular diagnostics system. [More]
AWMSG recommends Daklinza (daclatasvir) for treatment of adult patients with chronic HCV infection

AWMSG recommends Daklinza (daclatasvir) for treatment of adult patients with chronic HCV infection

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has recommended Daklinza (daclatasvir) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The recommendation is specifically for patients with advanced liver disease, for whom treatment options can be limited. [More]
Regulus Therapeutics begins RG-012 Phase I clinical study for treatment of Alport syndrome

Regulus Therapeutics begins RG-012 Phase I clinical study for treatment of Alport syndrome

Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs, announced today that dosing has begun in a first-in-human Phase I clinical study of RG-012, a single stranded, chemically modified oligonucleotide that binds to and inhibits the function of microRNA-21 ("miR-21"). [More]
Penn Medicine researchers explore primary player involved in T cell exhaustion

Penn Medicine researchers explore primary player involved in T cell exhaustion

Sometimes even cells get tired. When the T cells of your immune system are forced to deal over time with cancer or a chronic infection such as HIV or hepatitis C, they can develop 'T cell exhaustion,' becoming less effective and losing their ability to attack and destroy the invaders of the body. [More]
Research findings could help guide development of potential treatments for HCV

Research findings could help guide development of potential treatments for HCV

Warring armies use a variety of tactics as they struggle to gain the upper hand. Among their tricks is to attack with a decoy force that occupies the defenders while an unseen force launches a separate attack that the defenders fail to notice. [More]
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