Overview of Hepatitis C Virus

The hepatitis C virus is a positive-strand RNA virus encoding a single polyprotein precursor that belongs to the genus Hepacivirus, a member of the family Flaviviridae. Hepatitis C virus is the cause of hepatitis C and some cancers such as liver cancer and lymphomas in humans. About 3.5 million people in the U.S. have the disease. Worldwide, approximately 160 million people are estimated to have chronic hepatitis C. Doctors recommend that people who are at higher risk of getting hepatitis C should be tested for HCV infection. Currently there is no effective vaccine for hepatitis C virus. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs.

HCV particles are believed to have a diameter of 55 to 65 nm, consists of a core of genetic material (RNA), surrounded by an icosahedral protective shell of protein, and further encased in a lipid (fatty) envelope of cellular origin. Two viral envelope glycoproteins, E1 and E2, are embedded in the lipid envelope. E2, is known to contain a region that binds to liver cells.  The HCV genome is a single-stranded RNA molecule of positive polarity. It contains a single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polyprotein of about 3,000 amino acids. The ORF is flanked by 5’and 3’ untranslated regions(UTR) of 341 and approximately 230 nucleotides in length, respectively. Both 5’ and 3’ UTR bear highly conserved RNA structures essential for polyprotein translation and genome replication.


Creative Diagnostics is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of antibodies, antigens, and innovative diagnostic components. We provides high quality research products for Hepatitis C virus:

HCV Antibodies

HCV Antigens

HCV Elisa Kits

HCV Rapid Test Kits

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  2. Hijikata M, Mizushima H, Akagi T, Mori S, Kakiuchi N, Kato N, Tanaka T, et al. Two distinct proteinase activities required for the processing of a putative nonstructural precursor protein of hepatitis C virus. J Virol 1993;67:4665– 4675.