Published online Nov 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i42.12101
Peer-review started: July 3, 2015
First decision: July 20, 2015
Revised: August 7, 2015
Accepted: September 30, 2015
Article in press: September 30, 2015
Published online: November 14, 2015
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease and the main indication for liver transplantation worldwide. As promising specific treatments have been introduced for genotype 1, clinicians and researchers are now focusing on patients infected by non-genotype 1 HCV, particularly genotype 3. Indeed, in the golden era of direct-acting antiviral drugs, genotype 3 infections are no longer considered as easy to treat and are associated with higher risk of developing severe liver injuries, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Moreover, HCV genotype 3 accounts for 40% of all HCV infections in Asia and is the most frequent genotype among HCV-positive injecting drug users in several countries. Here, we review recent data on HCV genotype 3 infection/treatment, including clinical aspects and the underlying genotype-specific molecular mechanisms.
Core tip: This article reviews the complex relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and the possible complications in chronically infected patients. We discuss recent updates on the epidemiology and clinical aspects of HCV genotype 3 infection, including the currently available therapies. We also describe model systems to study the HCV genotype-specific molecular mechanisms.