Chronic hepatitis C infection is a major health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease. The hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1989 (1, 2). The virus is a small, enveloped, single-stranded, positive sense RNA virus and is a member of the hepacivirus genus in the family Flaviridae (3). Six major genotypes have been identified with several subtypes within each genotype (4). Viral replication occurs predominantly within hepatocytes in the liver but there is some evidence that it might also replicate outside the liver, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, in lymphoid cells and in neurons (5, 6). Chronic hepatitis C infection can cause cirrhosis, digestive hemorrhage, liver failure and liver cancer.

, ,
Financial support for design and printing was kindly given by the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Hepatologie, PRA International, Gilead, MSD, Janssen-Cilag, Roche, Zambon, Ferring, Vifor, Tramedico, Abbott, Glaxosmithkline and studio Tineke Wieringa
H.L.A. Janssen (Harry)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam