Source Department of Medicine, Section of Hepatology, The University of Illinois at Chicago 840 S. Wood Street MC787, Chicago, IL 60612.
In the last decade hepatitis C virus (HCV) kinetics has become an important clinical tool for the optimization of therapy with (pegylated)-interferon-α (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV). Mathematical models have generated important insights into HCV pathogenesis, HCV- host dynamics, and IFN and RBV's modes of action. Clinical trials with direct acting agents (DAAs) against various steps of the HCV life cycle have revealed new viral kinetic patterns that have not been observed with IFN±RBV. Very recently, studies have showed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL28B gene region were associated with race/ethnicity and with response to IFN±RBV. Here we review our current knowledge of HCV kinetics and related mathematical models during IFN±RBV and/or DAA based therapies, HCV pathogenesis, and the role of IL28B polymorphism on early HCV kinetics. Better understanding of the mode of actions of drug(s) and viral kinetics may help to develop, in the near future, new individualized therapeutic regimens that include DAAs in combination with IFN+RBV.