MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small‐sized RNAs with ability to regulate gene expression and have been recently discovered as promising diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers in the field of clinical medicine and microbiology, specifically in viral diseases. Infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) often lead to chronic infections and development of liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Challenges in early diagnosis of HCC and rapid development of novel HCV antivirals call for identification of novel miRNA biomarkers. An extensive selection of single miRNAs and miRNA panels has been provided by accumulating studies, discovering miRNA potentials in HBV and HCV diagnostics and treatment. Currently, the diagnostic potential of miRNAs in HBV and HCV has not been established yet. However, a promising HCV treatment drug Miravirsen, a locked nucleic acid, complementary to miRNA‐122, has entered a human clinical trial recently. In this review, we outline the role of miRNAs in HBV and HCV pathogenesis and differences in up‐ and downregulation of miRNAs upon HBV and HCV infection and HCC development.
Part of the book: Advances in Treatment of Hepatitis C and B