Researchers find gene that blocks hep C virus

Scientists at the Monash Institute of Medical Research have discovered a gene that stops the replication of the hepatitis C virus in mice. The gene--protein kinase R--is promoted by the protein interferon that is naturally produced in the body. Their work is published in the Journal of Virology. Currently, interferon therapy is the only effective treatment for slowing down the progress of hepatitis C. Untreated, the virus is replicated at up to one trillion viral particles per day. But the researchers note that there are various strains of the virus. They plan to continue their work to shed light on why some patients are responsive to interferon therapy and others aren't.

- read this report from EurekAlert on the study