Posted by: Marisa Dowling
Researchers have recently determined that Hepatitis C does not need to leave its first cell to infect the next cell. Rather it can pass directly from one cell to another. This explains why the body's immune system is so ineffective against the virus, and does not bode well for drug development efforts. The University of Birmingham scientists also found that the co-receptor CD81 is not necessary for cell-to-cell transmission as previously thought, undermining current drug research in this area.
One should note that the virus is still transmitted by extracellular routes, but infection will not be stopped until this cell-to-cell route is hindered as well.