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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1412840, 19 pages
Review Article

State of the Art, Unresolved Issues, and Future Research Directions in the Fight against Hepatitis C Virus: Perspectives for Screening, Diagnostics of Resistances, and Immunization

1Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
2IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 30 June 2016; Revised 9 September 2016; Accepted 20 September 2016

Academic Editor: Roberta A. Diotti

Copyright © 2016 Cecilia Trucchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) still represents a major public health threat, with a dramatic burden from both epidemiological and clinical points of view. New generation of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) has been recently introduced in clinical practice promising to cure HCV and to overcome the issues related to the interferon-based therapies. However, the emergence of drug resistance and the suboptimal activity of DAAs therapies against diverse HCV genotypes have been observed, determining treatment failure and hampering an effective control of HCV spread worldwide. Moreover, these treatments remain poorly accessible, particularly in low-income countries. Finally, effective screening strategy is crucial to early identifying and treating all HCV chronically infected patients. For all these reasons, even though new drugs may contribute to impacting HCV spread worldwide a preventive HCV vaccine remains a cornerstone in the road to significantly reduce the HCV spread globally, with the ultimate goal of its eradication. Advances in molecular vaccinology, together with a strong financial, political, and societal support, will enable reaching this fundamental success in the coming years. In this comprehensive review, the state of the art about these major topics in the fight against HCV and the future of research in these fields are discussed.