New Study Reveals How Hepatitis C Interacts With Humans

A big data study of hepatitis C and increasing number of patients to up to 500, suffering from this virus, provided the direction for a clear understanding of the way of interaction of this virus with its hosts.

The establishment of a method for the very first time, to observe and to compare the genetic manufacturing of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and  that of increasing number of patients suffering from hepatitis C virus to up to 500, has been done by the Researchers at the University of Oxford.

In this way, the researchers will be able to have a deep understanding of hepatitis virus, one of the dominant cause of mortality and impairment Globally, with the idea that 2-3% of the population of the world got this infection, including an approximate number of 300,000 population in the UK.

Most of the people have no idea that they are hosting this infection, which when remain untreated can cause liver cancer and other liver related diseases.

Professor Ellie Barnes from Nuffield Department of Medicine in collaboration with Dr. Chris, explained: ‘This is the first use of a big-data study to look at a virus and host together. We identified two places in the human genome where the genetic variation that calibrates our immune system affects the genetic diversity of the virus.

There are few new drugs available for Hepatitis C infection, but they are very expensive and access to them is currently limited.

Also, these drugs are effective to some extent in the treatment of some of the seven strains of the infection that is present rather than the others, thus, pointing out the significance of having the insight regarding the genetic basis of the disease for further development of the treatments in the near future.

‘Within coming15 years, the arrangement of the DNA disease-causing bugs like HCV will be a part of routine of the healthcare.

This type of information can be applied to modify treatments for every single patient, to make sure that the patient is provided with the best drugs or the proper amount of time to give the maximum possible opportunity of coping or restoring from infection.’

For The development of large sets of genetic data to design better treatments for HCV, and to gain an insight of this infection, Researchers within STOP-HCV, a national association sponsored by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and led from Oxford University, are working.

The study pointed out two human genes that alter the hepatitis C virus with the passage of time. One of the locations in the human genome (the HLA) discloses those fragments of the HCV virus that have attempted to transform to flee from being identified by the human immune system.

The researchers applied the data to form a plot of these particular exertions surrounding the viral genome, which can be applied to search crucial points that are important for the survival of virus and these can be used to aiming new vaccines or therapies.

The second position in the human genome highlighted in the study that impacts on the virus activates an immune gene which is switched off in some individuals. The impact of activating this gene is to change the number of viruses that are present in the patient’s blood.

Expansive observations of the DNA of the patient and the virus will provide a direction to observe that how the human immune system naturally reacts to HCV infection, and its influence on the evolution of virus.

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