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According to the current epidemiological studies, 3% of the world population is infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The gold standard of therapy, at this time, is neither effective in a high percentage of patients, nor with all genotypes. Furthermore, it is associated with significant side effects and high cost.Therefore, new therapeutic strategies have been investigated, or in the early process of development.
These include:direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) and immune- based therapy. Four DAA molecules have been already approved by the FDA. Immune based therapy aims at augmenting host immunity, thus prevention of infection, and clearance of the virus in subsequent reinfection.
Boosting T cell responses and activating humoral immune reaction have been targeted in the development of novel fighting tools. The most intensively studied immunetherapeutic strategies are: 1) vaccines; either therapeutic or prophylactic, 2) dendritic cells (DCs) immunotherapy, 3) antagonists of T cell inhibitory factors, 4) anti-HCV neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), 5) antagonists for Tolllike receptors (TLRs), and 6) caspase inhibitors.
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