Cancer

Many hepatitis infections go undiagnosed in cancer patients

Results from the largest study of hepatitis B and C and HIV infection prevalence in cancer patients show an alarmingly high rate of undiagnosed acute and chronic hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B and C are serious but treatable ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Screening for Hepatitis C can reduce chance of liver disease

Hepatitis C is a good news, bad news kind of disease. The bad news is that many with the liver-attacking virus may not even know it. The good news is that once discovered, doctors can effectively treat and even remove it.

Immunology

Chronic fatigue syndrome: new evidence of biological causes

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects up to 24m people, globally, but little is known about its causes. Our latest study unravels some of this mystery. The results suggest that an overactive immune system may trigger this ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New strains of hepatitis C found in Africa

The largest population study of hepatitis C in Africa has found three new strains of the virus circulating in the general population in sub-Saharan Africa. The research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the MRC-University ...

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but once established, chronic infection can progress to scarring of the liver (fibrosis), and advanced scarring (cirrhosis) which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure or other complications of cirrhosis, including liver cancer.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Most people have few, if any symptoms after the initial infection, yet the virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. Persistent infection can be treated with medication, peginterferon and ribavirin being the standard-of-care therapy. Only 51% are cured overall. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant, and the virus universally recurs after transplantation.

An estimated 270-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a strictly human disease. It cannot be contracted from or given to any animal. Chimpanzees can be infected with the virus in the laboratory, but do not develop the disease, which has made research more difficult. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available. The existence of hepatitis C (originally "non-A non-B hepatitis") was postulated in the 1970s and proved conclusively in 1989. It is one of five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E.

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