The latest research & treatment news about Hepatitis C infection, diagnosis, symptoms and treatment.

Hepatitis C

Is it Possible to Become Infected with More Than One Genotype of Hepatitis C?

Superinfection is possible if risk behaviors (e.g., injection drug use) for Hepatitis C infection continue. A reasonable path for the highly mutable Hepatitis C virus, superinfection is when a cell previously infected by one virus becomes co-infected with a different strain of the virus. Unfortunately, viral superinfections are common causes of treatment resistance – where a previously effective therapy loses its efficacy. In addition, superinfections have been known to reduce the overall effectiveness of the immune response.

Through studies conducted on intravenous drug users (the largest single risk group for Hepatitis C), researchers concluded that Hepatitis C re-infection and superinfection are common among actively injecting drug users.

Rare cases of sexually transmitted Hepatitis C superinfection in HIV/Hepatitis C virus-co-infected patients with high-risk sexual behavior have been reported. The patients had chronic Hepatitis C and a history of sexually transmitted infections. No risk factors for Hepatitis C were found except unprotected anal sex with multiple casual male partners.

Hepatitis C-infected kidneys transplanted into Hepatitis C-infected recipients have been shown to cause superinfection.

Mayo Clinic “Acute Liver Failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011

Medscape “Diagnosis and Management of Acute Liver Failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011

Palmer, M.D., Melissa. Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease. New York: Avery Trade, 2004.

U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH National Institutes of Health “Acute liver failure caused by 'fat burners' and dietary supplements: a case report and literature review” Retrieved May 20, 2011

U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH National Institutes of Health “Influence of high body mass index on outcome in acute liver failure” Retrieved May 20, 2011< Worman, MD Howard J. The Liver Disorders and Hepatitis Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill, 2006