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Analysis of the inhibition of hepatitis C virus life cycle by natural compounds


Hepatitis C is a worldwide problem of public health and it is estimated that around 2% of world population is infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Chronic infection can progress to hepatic cirrhosis and hepatocelular carcinoma and it is currently the major cause of liver transplantation in the occident. Current therapy based on pegylated interferon and ribavirin presents low sustained virological response, is expensive treatment and cause severe side effects. That data demonstrate the necessity of developing more efficient new antiviral or combination of therapies for hepatitis C treatment. Compounds extracted from plants can provide an alternative approach to new therapies. They present characteristics like high chemical diversity, lower cost of production and milder or inexistent side effects than conventional treatment. Additionally, Brazilian flora is complex and anti-HCV effects of natural compounds extracted from Brazilian plants have not still been evaluated. Therefore, this project propose to investigate the effects of these compounds extracted from Brazilian plants on HCV life cycle and identify the mode of action of these compounds as antiviral agents. We will apply the recently developed JFH-1 system of HCV replication in tissue culture to obtain infectious viral particles. This system has provided understanding of biological aspects of HCV and has been promissory to the development of future antiviral therapies. Luciferase, western-blotting, cytometry and quantification of viral load by real time PCR assays will provide results that can evidence the relevance of these methods of intervention of HCV infection. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
JARDIM, A. C. G.; IGLOI, Z.; SHIMIZU, J. F.; SANTOS, V. A. F. F. M.; FELIPPE, L. G.; MAZZEU, B. F.; AMAKO, Y.; FURLAN, M.; HARRIS, M.; RAHAL, P.. Natural compounds isolated from Brazilian plants are potent inhibitors of hepatitis C virus replication in vitro. Antiviral Research, v. 115, p. 39-47, . (11/00313-3, 11/11753-4)

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