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Cells 2018, 7(10), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7100165

Viral Persistence and Chronicity in Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Role of T-Cell Apoptosis, Senescence and Exhaustion

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, LembahPantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 LembahPantai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3
Laboratory Center, Xiamen University Malaysia, 43900 Sepang, Malaysia
4
Division of Blood and Vascular Biology, Department of Life Sciences, Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Thiruvarur 610005, India
5
Division of Molecular Virology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linkoping University, 58 183 Linkoping, Sweden
6
Division of Infection Biology and Medical Microbiology, Department of Life Sciences, Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Thiruvarur 610005, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis C Virus and Host Interactions)
Full-Text   |   PDF [248 KB, uploaded 12 October 2018]

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) represents a challenging global health threat to ~200 million infected individuals. Clinical data suggest that only ~10–15% of acutely HCV-infected individuals will achieve spontaneous viral clearance despite exuberant virus-specific immune responses, which is largely attributed to difficulties in recognizing the pathognomonic symptoms during the initial stages of exposure to the virus. Given the paucity of a suitable small animal model, it is also equally challenging to study the early phases of viral establishment. Further, the host factors contributing to HCV chronicity in a vast majority of acutely HCV-infected individuals largely remain unexplored. The last few years have witnessed a surge in studies showing that HCV adopts myriad mechanisms to disconcert virus-specific immune responses in the host to establish persistence, which includes, but is not limited to viral escape mutations, viral growth at privileged sites, and antagonism. Here we discuss a few hitherto poorly explained mechanisms employed by HCV that are believed to lead to chronicity in infected individuals. A better understanding of these mechanisms would aid the design of improved therapeutic targets against viral establishment in susceptible individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: apoptosis; viral persistence; hepatitis C virus; immunity; chronic infection apoptosis; viral persistence; hepatitis C virus; immunity; chronic infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Barathan, M.; Mohamed, R.; Yong, Y.K.; Kannan, M.; Vadivelu, J.; Saeidi, A.; Larsson, M.; Shankar, E.M. Viral Persistence and Chronicity in Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Role of T-Cell Apoptosis, Senescence and Exhaustion. Cells 2018, 7, 165.

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