Intracellular innate immune cascades and interferon defenses that control hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global public health problem that mediates a persistent infection in nearly 200 million people. HCV is efficient in establishing chronicity due in part to the inefficiency of the host immune system in controlling and counteracting HCV-mediated evasion strategies. HCV persistence is linked to the ability of the virus to suppress the RIG-I pathway and interferon production from infected hepatocytes, thus evading innate immune defenses within the infected cell. This review describes the virus and host processes that regulate the RIG-I pathway during HCV infection. An understanding of these HCV-host interactions could lead to more effective therapies for HCV designed to reactivate the host immune response following HCV infection.
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