Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) - Morphology, Transmission, Clinical features &..

HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) – MORPHOLOGY, TRANSMISSION, CLINICAL FEATURES & LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS

INTRODUCTION TO HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)

HCV was identified during the research for ‘non-A non-B’ viruses by experimental infection in the chimpanzees.

HCV is the most common cause of post-transfusion hepatitis in the developed countries.

Infection due to Hepatitis C virus is seen only in humans.

MORPHOLOGY OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)

HCV belongs to Hepacivirus genus of Flaviviridae

Size – 50-60 nm in diameter

HCV is a Spherical & Enveloped Virus, carrying Glycoprotein spikes.

Genetic material – Linear ssRNA

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TRANSMISSION ROUTE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)

Parenteral route – by contaminated syringes & needles, transfusion of blood & blood products.

Sexual transmission is uncommon, vertical transmission from mother to fetus may take place.

CLINICAL FEATURES OF TYPE C HEPATITIS

Incubation period – 15 – 160 days with a mean of 50 days.

Acute illness is usually mild, jaundice is less common.

Chronic illness by HCV is clinically most important as it is common & causes cirrhosis and Hepatocellular carcinoma.

LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)

Detection of HCV antibodies by ELISA.

Confirmation of the positive results obtained by ELISA is done by using recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA).

Viral genome detection by PCR & by Immunofluorescence Assay.

Culture techniques have not been established for HCV.



PROPHYLAXIS OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) INFECTION

Screening of blood or blood products.

Avoid the use of unsterile needles, syringes & other materials.

No specific active or passive immunizing agents are available.

TREATMENT OF TYPE C HEPATITIS

Treatment with interferon alpha, either alone or in combination with other drugs like Ribavirin is found to be useful.

SAHIL BATRA

Hi, I'm the Founder and Developer of Paramedics World, a blog truly devoted to Paramedics. I am a Medical Lab Tech, a Web Developer and Bibliophiliac. My greatest hobby is to teach and motivate other peoples to do whatever they wanna do in life.

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