AbbreviationsDAAdirectly acting antiviralHCVhepatitis C virusIFNpegylated interferon alphaPCRpolymerase chain reactionRASresistance‐associated substitutionsRBVribavirinSVRsustained viral responseINTRODUCTIONThe World Health Organization has estimated that 71 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide and that more than 399 000 people die each year of HCV‐related liver diseases. Chronic hepatitis by HCV infection is characterized by an indolent course or a slow progression to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.For many years, pegylated interferon alpha (IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) combination therapy was the standard treatment for HCV infection. This combination therapy provided a sustained clearance of circulating HCV (sustained viral response—SVR) in half of the patients infected with HCV‐genotype 1, in around 70% of those with HCV‐genotype 2 and around 60% of those with HCV‐genotype 3; however, the frequency and severity of the side‐effects (flu‐like symptoms, depression, cytopenia, and hemolytic anemia) made this therapy burdensome for many patients.Recently, regimens without interferon, which combine several classes of directly acting antiviral agents (DAAs), have improved the response rate and tolerability also in difficult‐to‐treat patients such as patients with an advanced liver disease. In fact, these IFN‐free regimens yield SVR rates of approximately 95%, even in patients with cirrhosis.Despite the excellent efficacy of DAAs, some patients (around 5%) still
Journal of Medical Virology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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