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Genetic variation helps identify hepatitis C infected people, according to a study

November 13, 2015

The research results were published online last week in the international journal Nature Genetics. Two other research papers validating the same finding have been published in the past month.

Dr Bahlo said with the knowledge of the gene variants it would be possible to develop a diagnostic test, based on a person's genetic profile, to identify those who are likely to respond to treatment with PEG-IFN-alpha/RBV.

Further, the location of the newly-discovered genetic variant opens the way for development of a more effective hepatitis C treatment, which is likely to result in fewer adverse effects than PEG-IFN-alpha/RBV.

Finding effective treatments is essential as many people infected with hepatitis C become chronic carriers of the disease and may develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Source: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute