Hepatitis C infection (HCV) is a major cause of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis worldwide. Interferon-based regimen has been the sole therapy to eradicate HCV infection for decades. However, this interferon and ribavirin combination is associated with several serious adverse events and the sustained virologic response rate was suboptimal. The recent discovery of oral direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) heralded a revolution in the treatment of chronic HCV. This breakthrough in HCV resulted in high rates of HCV eradication with sustained virologic response rates ranging between 90 and 100% across different genotypes. New therapies were administered orally for 12 or 24 months and this resulted in better compliance and few adverse events. DAAs are categorized into four major groups namely: NS5B nucleotide inhibitors, NS5B nonnucleoside inhibitors, NS5A replication complex inhibitors, and NS3/4A protease inhibitors (PI). Several interferon-free regimens have been approved and adequately assessed and several new regimens with high potencies, less cross-resistance, and better safety profile are in the process of approval. Thus, the era of HCV eradication and cure has begun.
Part of the book: Advances in Treatment of Hepatitis C and B