Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.
The genotype 3 of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been long considered an easy-to-treat infection, with higher cure rates (~70%) than other viral genotypes with the standard combination of pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin. However, the relative insensitivity of this genotype to most protease inhibitors and the recent unexpected data on decreased effectiveness of sofosbuvir, have raised questions on how to achieve universal cure, a goal that seems reasonable for other genotypes. In addition, increasing clinical and experimental data show that HCV genotype 3 may be associated not only with severe steatosis, but also with accelerated fibrosis progression rate and increased oncogenesis. Conclusion: Currently available data suggest that we should increase our efforts to understand the virology and pathogenesis of HCV genotype 3, aiming at better and more potent, genotype-targeted treatments.