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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2005 Feb;11(2):86-94.

Hepatitis C virus infection.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. brian.thomson@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem. Up to 3% of the world's population is infected with HCV, and at least 200 000 adults in the UK carry the virus. Of those exposed to HCV, 80% become chronically infected, and at least 30% of carriers develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This review provides an overview of selected features of the molecular biology and pathogenesis of HCV infection, and thereafter discusses in detail the epidemiology of HCV, the hepatic and extra-hepatic diseases caused by the virus, and the current treatment options for both acute and chronic virus infection. The special cases of healthcare workers, prison inmates and individuals coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus and HCV are considered in detail.

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