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BACKGROUND The hepatitis C virus (HCV) mutates within human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I restricted immunodominant epitopes of the non-structural (NS) 3/4A protease to escape cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) recognition and promote viral persistence. However, variability is not unlimited, and sometimes almost absent, and factors that restrict viral(More)
The role of hepatitis C virus (HCV) protein non-structural (NS) 5A in HCV-associated pathogenesis is still enigmatic. To investigate the in vivo role of NS5A for viral persistence and virus-associated pathogenesis a transgenic (Tg) mouse model was established. Mice with liver-targeted NS5A transgene expression were generated using the albumin promoter.(More)
A major problem in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is that treatment with specific antivirals is life-long since they rarely induce a sustained response. An attractive option is therefore to combine antiviral therapy with some type of immune stimulator, such as a therapeutic vaccine. Several lines of evidence suggest that a key target for the(More)
The hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV/HCV) are major causes for chronic liver disease globally. For HBV new antiviral compounds can suppress the viral replication for years, but off-therapy responses are rare. Current therapies based on interferon and ribavirin can cure 45-85% of the treated HCV-infected patients largely depending on the viral genotype. New(More)
Clearance of infections caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) correlates with HCV-specific T cell function. We therefore evaluated therapeutic vaccination in 12 patients with chronic HCV infection. Eight patients also underwent a subsequent standard-of-care (SOC) therapy with pegylated interferon (IFN) and ribavirin. The phase I/IIa clinical trial was(More)
UNLABELLED Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) has been implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases, and anti-TNFα has been shown to improve therapy when added to standard of care in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In addition, patients with chronic HCV have increased serum levels of TNFα and the macrophage-attracting chemokine (C-C motif) ligand(More)
The mechanisms by which in vivo electroporation (EP) improves the potency of i.m. DNA vaccination were characterized by using the hepatitis C virus nonstructural (NS) 3/4A gene. Following a standard i.m. injection of DNA with or without in vivo EP, plasmid levels peaked immediately at the site of injection and decreased by 4 logs the first week. In vivo EP(More)
BACKGROUND The hepatitis C virus (HCV) establishes chronic infection by incompletely understood mechanisms. The non-structural (NS) 3/4A protease/helicase has been proposed as a key complex in modulating the infected hepatocyte, although nothing is known about the effects this complex exerts in vivo. AIM To generate mice with stable and transient(More)
We have recently shown that the NS3-based genetic immunogens should contain also hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural (NS) 4A to utilize fully the immunogenicity of NS3. The next step was to try to enhance immunogenicity by modifying translation or mRNA synthesis. To enhance translation efficiency, a synthetic NS3/4A-based DNA (coNS3/4A-DNA) vaccine was(More)
BACKGROUND Hepatitis C virus (HCV) effectively establishes persistent infection in human livers. The non-structural (NS) 3/4A complex participates in this process by cleavage of interferon beta (IFN beta) promoter stimulator-1 (IPS-1; also termed Cardif/MAVS/VISA), which inhibits responses to double stranded (ds) RNA. However, it is not known whether this(More)