Marian Oltman, Ľubomír Gürtler, Ladislav Kužela, Tatiana Novotná, Jarolím Šutka
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most frequent cause of chronic disease of the liver, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver transplantation (OLTx) in developed countries. Recent surveys suggest more than 170 million of people afflicted by HCV infection. This severe impact is conditioned by biological characteristics of HCV which is able to set up chronic infection and subsequently chronic inflammation of the liver due to mutations developing not only with its own replication but also due to immune reactions. HCV is able to module immune reaction against itself. In addition, extrahepatal reservoirs of the virus are sources of reinfection after liver transplantation. Combined therapy with pegylated interferon alpha together with ribavirin has been the approved therapy so far, with 76 % of success.