Prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) re-infection after liver transplantation
Over 170 million persons worldwide are chronically infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), leading to endstage liver disease and cancer. HCV is the single most common indication for liver transplantation in Canada and the rest of the Western world. After transplant, HCV re-infection is universal and is the chief cause of graft loss. Treatment of post-transplant recurrent HCV is more difficult than pretransplant, with lower response rates that partly reflect the effects of immunosuppression.We propose that the ideal management of post-transplant HCV is its prevention. This project aims to re-program liver grafts to resist acute HCV infection using a novel inhibitor that is targeted to hepatocytes. This novel strategy will have broad applicability around the world, particularly in areas where the majority of the population has limited access to the newer antiviral treatments.