Hepatitis C is a single-stranded RNA virus that infects and damages the liver. In most cases, hepatitis C causes no noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged and symptoms are often vague such as flu-like muscle aches and fatigue. The first six months of a hepatitis C infection are known as acute hepatitis C and around 25% people fight off this infection. However, the remaining 75% will develop chronic hepatitis C as the virus will stay in their body for many years and this can lead to liver cirrhosis. People can become infected by hepatitis C through a number of transmission routes including IV drug use, blood transfusion, sexual exposure and vertical transmission (passed from the mother to child).

Hepatitis C is divided into six distinct genotypes and these are then sub-typed even further. The different genotypes have different distributions throughout the world, for example, the genotype 1 strain is the most common in the USA and can provide information about the treatment required, likely outcome of treatment and duration of treatment required. The epiomic database sub-divides the patient population into these 6 genotypes and their sub-types to provide detailed, accurate information about the market landscape.

Hepatitis C infection is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer as it causes severe, permanent damage to the liver over many years. This disease is also associated with co-infections with HIV and hepatitis B as they have similar modes of transmission, complicating the treatment required. The Epiomic™ database can provide you with precise information about these co-morbidities to create a better understanding of the illness.

Quick Fact

Did you know ... 83% of HIV positive injecting drug users are co-infected with hepatitis C.