Role of T cell immunity in hepatitis C virus infections

Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Aug;3(4):461-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jun 2.


Chronic infections with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are a major global health issue. Viral replication is restricted to hepatocytes, and occurs for decades at high replication rates. Over the last decade, it became accepted that HCV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells are crucial for protective immunity to HCV. However, a characteristic feature of persistent HCV infection is the dysfunctional T cell response, and over recent years enormous progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms that dampen the antiviral T cell responses in blood and liver of chronic HCV patients and also impact disease progression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepacivirus / physiology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*