Hep C

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Submitted By katelynsampson
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Discovering the Virus Responsible for Hepatitis C
Katelyn Sampson
Northern College
ACE Biology
Professor Nikki Wood
May 21st 2012

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Discovering the Virus Responsible for Hepatitis C

You wouldn’t know just by looking at someone that they could potentially have a life threatening liver disease. Approximately “4 million” Americans are infected with the hepatitis C virus. In the 1940’s, researchers have found two different types of viral hepatitis. Infectious hepatitis, or hepatitis A, is transmitted by contact with feces from infected individuals. Serum Hepatitis B is transmitted through the blood and other body fluids. The hepatitis B virus was isolated in the 1960’s and the hepatitis A virus was isolated in the 1970’s. After the isolation of these two viruses, assays were developed in order to identify individuals who were infected with hepatitis A or hepatitis B viruses. A form of hepatitis occurs in patients that test negative for hepatitis A or B. This type of hepatitis, called non-A, non-B also known as “NANBH” but now referred to as hepatitis C, represented greater than “90% of transfusion” associated hepatitis. HCV is also known to be a cause of chronic disease which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. With the knowledge of these facts, in this experiment we find out if the HCV anti-body assay will detect the hepatitis C virus in the blood.

A testable hypothesis is if the recombinant-based assay for HCV will detect HCV anti-bodies in blood samples of people with hepatitis C or who are carriers of hepatitis C but not in the non-HCV individuals.

In order to have a diagnostic antibody test an international research team headed by the “Chiron group” and compared the DNA copies of several HCV clones and identified one common DNA sequence present in all clones. This section of DNA was reconstructed and then incorporated into…...

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