Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a remarkably successful pathogen, establishing persistent infection in more than two-thirds of those who contract it. Its success is related to its abilities to blunt innate antiviral pathways and to evade adaptive immune responses. These two themes may be related. We propose that HCV takes advantage of the impaired innate response to delay the organization of an effective adaptive immune attack. The tolerogenic liver environment may provide cover, prolonging this delay. HCV's error-prone replication strategy permits rapid evolution under immune pressure. Persistent high levels of viral antigens may contribute to immune exhaustion. Finally, the virus may benefit from the efficient enlistment of memory T and B cells in the pursuit of a moving target.

Original publication




Journal article


Annu rev immunol

Publication Date





71 - 99


Animals, B-Lymphocytes, Evolution, Molecular, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C Antigens, Humans, Immune Tolerance, Immunity, Innate, Immunologic Memory, Liver, T-Lymphocytes, Virus Replication