Hepatitis C virus cell culture replication systems: their potential use for the development of antiviral therapies

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2001 Dec;14(6):743-7. doi: 10.1097/00001432-200112000-00013.


Hepatitis C virus is a significant public health problem. Current drug regimens have low efficacy against some hepatitis C virus genotypes, while no vaccine is available. The absence of an efficient cell culture system and an accessible small animal model to study hepatitis C virus replication and pathogenesis are major obstacles to the development of effective antiviral therapies. Studies of surrogate model systems, either related viruses or chimeric viruses containing part of the hepatitis C virus genome, have given insight into hepatitis C virus replication, in addition to being a powerful tool for drug discovery. The recent development of an efficient system for the initiation of replication in cell culture provides a viable screen for inhibitors of hepatitis C virus replication. It also brings us much closer to the ultimate goal of an infectious cell culture system for hepatitis C virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Replicon
  • Virus Replication* / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents