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Defining a role for Natural Killer cells in HCV infection

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Host: Ashley Moffett (

Hepatitis C virus infects 170million people worldwide. While a minority of patients clear the virus, most people become chronically infected with HCV . The factors underlying viral clearance are not well characterised; however, the innate immune system is important in this process.

We have previously identified some genes of the innate immune system, that when present together, synergise to increase the risk of developing chronic infection. We now show that these genes also synergise to predict failure to clear HCV infection in patients undergoing treatment for chronic HCV infection.

One of the genetic markers is in the region of genomic DNA that codes for the interferon lambda family of cytokines and the second codes for a receptor expressed by Natural Killer (NK) cells. We have therefore investigated a role for interferon lambda cytokines in terms of modulating NK cell functions. Finally, we have found that expression of particular interferon lambda cytokines are suppressed in chronic HCV infection.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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