Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hope for Hepatitis C research

11.08.2006
The mystery surrounding Hepatitis C, a disease that affects millions of people worldwide, is one step closer to being solved.

In a paper published in the August edition of Journal of Virology, scientists describe how they replicated, or reproduced the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in mouse cells. Working with different models, they showed a gene called protein kinase R (PKR) blocked the replication of HCV in mice.

"When a person becomes infected with HCV, the immune system produces a protein called interferon to fight the infection," said co-author and Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research, Professor Bryan Williams.

"We now know genes interferon stimulates PKR to try to stop the virus spreading throughout the body."

HCV replicates at a very high rate – approximately one trillion viral particles are produced each day in an infected person. Professor Williams' research will provide a better understanding of how this replication occurs and how and why PKR blocks the production of the virus.

Hepatitis C affects 210,000 Australians. Worldwide, it is estimated more than 170 million people suffer from the disease. The virus attacks the liver, causing flu-like symptoms, fevers, abdominal pain, depression, and for two-thirds of patients, chronic liver disease.

The discovery may also shed light on why some hepatitis C patients respond better to treatment than others.

"As there is no vaccine or cure for HCV, the only treatment on offer for patients is interferon therapy, which aims to slow the progression of the disease. However, there are six different genotypes, or strains of HCV, which all react differently to treatment," Professor Williams said.

"We can now explore why some strains are more sensitive to interferon therapy, and how we can adapt treatment to the different strains of the disease."

"Our research is still in the early stages, but the research model we have created will be a valuable tool in understanding the underlying mechanisms of chronic HCV infection, and how the virus responds to interferon treatment" said Professor Williams.

Julie Jacobs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com.au/
http://www.hepcvic.org.au
http://jvi.asm.org/current.dtl#VIRUS_CELL_INTERACTIONS

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>