Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood borne pathogen that causes chronic liver disease and afflicts 170 million people world-wide. While direct acting antivirals now provide a highly effective means to cure those infected with HCV, there is no vaccine to prevent infection. Published in Science Translational Medicine, de Jong et al.  show that highly potent neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) directed to one of the surface glycoproteins of HCV, E2, can not only prevent infection but can also eliminate established infection in experimental animal models of HCV. They provide compelling evidence that for HCV to maintain a chronic infection, it must infect new hepatocytes; infection cannot be sustained in reservoirs of infected cells alone and that E2-specific NAbs are sufficient to cure an infection. In addition, the manuscript further supports the importance of NAbs in preventing, controlling and possibly curing HCV. Thus NAbs are not only essential to the development of prophylactic vaccines but may yet have a role in therapeutic approaches to HCV treatment.
|Journal||Annals of Translational Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs)