Hepatitis C is a major global health problem which is responsible for over 350,000 deaths each year.1 In total, there are thought to be around 150 million hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers, which comprise about 3% of the world population. The prevalence of HCV infection, however, shows a substantial geographical variation. In Europe the prevalence of HCV infection varies from 0.1 to 6.0%, with the highest occurrence in Southern and Eastern Europe.2 The Netherlands represents a country in which HCV infection is not frequently observed. A recently performed Dutch epidemiological study indicated that the seroprevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 0.3%, around the lowest in the world.3 Nevertheless, this would mean that almost 40,000 inhabitants of the Netherlands have been in contact with the HCV, leading to approximately 30,000 Dutch patients with a chronic HCV infection. First-generation migrants from HCV-endemic countries and injecting drug users (IDU) form the most important risk groups in the Netherlands.

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Keywords HCV infection, infectious diseases, virology, Hepatitis C
Promotor H.L.A. Janssen (Harry)
Publisher The work presented in this thesis was conducted at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Printing of this thesis was supported by: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Hepatologie, Afdeling Maag-, Darm- en Leverziekten van het Erasmus MC, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Santaris Pharma A/S, AbbVie, Roche, Gilead, Janssen-Cilag,
ISBN 978-94-6169-551-2
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/76940
Note Due to embargo regulations RePub contains an edited version of this thesis.
van der Meer, A.J.P. (2014, September 24). Antiviral Therapy for Chronic HCV Infection: Virological Response and Long-Term Outcome. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/76940