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Hepatitis C Weak Spot, Target for Drug Research

Hepatitis C Weak Spot, Target for Drug Research

Viruses are considered to be the tiniest creatures discovered. However, they are on top of the most fatal creatures to humans. Obviously each type of viruses has a preferred target. HIV targets the immune system, while hepatitis C slowly destroys the liver in the absence of a successful treatment or vaccine.

A new study, conducted by University of Warwick, discovered a “switch” in the hepatitis C virus which could be used as a target for new kinds of drug treatment.

Professor David Evans of the University of Warwick said: “Hepatitis C is a growing concern worldwide and is set to place a massive demand on the organ transplant system. We are already at the stage in many countries where the main need for liver transplants is due to liver damage caused by the Hepatitis C virus.

The study, published in Nucleic Acids Research, found that most of hepatitis C viruses have a “switch” which researchers see as a target for chemical treatment during the early replication stages. In other words, researchers hope to prevent the virus from attacking more liver cells by stopping its early replication by targeting its weak points, leaving the remaining very few viruses to the immune system which can handle them.

“Current medication is not effective in all cases, that’s why it’s vital that we continue to build on this early-stage research to focus drug development work on treatment which works across all Hepatitis C genotypes.” Evans concluded.

Prepared by: Abdullatief Janat

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