Hepatitis C virus and the brain

Nicola Fletcher, Jane McKeating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an enveloped, positive-strand RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae that primarily infects hepatocytes, causing acute and chronic liver disease. HCV is also associated with a variety of extrahepatic symptoms including central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and depression. These symptoms do not correlate with the severity of liver disease and are independent of hepatic encephalopathy. HCV RNA has been associated with CNS tissue, and reports of viral sequence diversity between brain and liver tissue suggest independent viral evolution in the CNS and liver. This review will explore the data supporting HCV infection of the CNS and how this fits into our current understanding of HCV pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of viral hepatitis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • reservoir
  • blood-brain barrier
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • central nervous system
  • hepatitis C


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