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World J Gastroenterol. Dec 21, 2013; 19(47): 8916-8923
Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.8916
Immunological alterations in hepatitis C virus infection
Vincenza Calvaruso, Antonio Craxì
Vincenza Calvaruso, Antonio Craxì, Gastroenterologia and Epatologia, DIBIMIS, Università di Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
Author contributions: Both authors contributed equally to this paper.
Correspondence to: Vincenza Calvaruso, MD, PhD, Gastroenterologia and Epatologia, DIBIMIS, Università di Palermo, Piazza delle Cliniche n.2, 90127 Palermo, Italy.
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Received: July 31, 2013
Revised: October 23, 2013
Accepted: November 12, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013
Core Tip

Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected lymphoid tissue of the host represents a site for the persistence of HCV infection which exerts a chronic stimulus to the immune system, facilitating clonal B-lymphocyte expansion and consequent wide autoantibody production, including cryo- and non-cryo-precipitable immune complexes which may lead to organ- and non-organ-specific immunological alterations. This review outlines the principal aspects of such HCV-induced immunological alterations, focusing on the prevalence of these less characterized HCV extrahepatic manifestations.