Since its discovery in 1989, hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been intensively investigated to understand its biology and develop effective antiviral therapies. The efforts of the previous 25 years have resulted in a better understanding of the virus, and this was facilitated by the development of in vitro cell culture systems for HCV replication. Antiviral treatments and sustained virological responses have also improved from the early interferon monotherapy to the current all-oral regimens using direct-acting antivirals. However, antiviral resistance has become a critical issue in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, similar to other chronic viral infections, and retreatment options following treatment failure have become important questions. Despite the clinical challenges in the management of chronic hepatitis C, substantial progress has been made in understanding HCV, which may facilitate the investigation of other closely related flaviviruses and lead to the development of antiviral agents against these human pathogens.
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