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HELP ! Hepatitis 'C' virus

Isabelle Petitpas petitpas at u-psud.fr
Thu Dec 19 09:56:19 EST 1996

The genome of HCV consists of a positive-stranded RNA mplecule containing
approximately 9500 nucleotides with a single large ORF. This ORF encodes a
single large polyprotein precursor that is cleaved co- and posttranslationally
to yield individual structural and nonstructural viral protein.
Originally defined as the major cause of posttransfusion hepatitis, HCV
infection commonly occurs after direct percutaneous, parenteral exposure. Most
of the serious liver disease associated with HCV is a result of the high
propensityof this agent to cause chronic, persistent infection. When accute
disease occurs, general symptoms of hepatitis are apparent, such as malaise,
anorexia, nausea, and occasionally pain in the right upper abdomen. In most
chronically infected patients, there is an indolent course of disease with the
majority of patients being clinically well after about 10 years of chronic

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