Researchers from University of Montreal have shown that patients who receive treatment within the first months of Hepatitis C diagnosis develop a rapid immune response against the infection.
The research team has found that early treatments for patients with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) initiates a rapid poly-functional immune response against the virus and eliminates it rapidly.
The study led by Dr. Naglaa Shoukry and Dr. Julie Bruneau, affiliated to both the Research Centre of the Universite de Montreal Hospital Centre and the Universite de Montreal found that early treatment leads to the production of multiple antiviral mediators and helps restore immune response.
HCV is transmitted through infected blood and the only approved treatment is an anti-viral drug known as pegylated interferon alpha.
Although a quarter of infected patients can eradicate the infection spontaneously, the majority develop persistent infection, a major cause of cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.
The study is published in the Journal of Virology.