Destruction of hepatitis C virus. Image courtesy of GettyImages
Viral hepatitis remains a major cause of liver disease worldwide. The Peninsula Medical School Hepatology Research Group were positioned to follow-up on a Lookback programme that traced hepatitis C virus (HCV) contaminated blood product that was accidentally administered to transfusion recipients early after HCV was identified. 
Led by Dr Daniel Felmlee we have used this historic data to identify a small percentage of individuals resistant to HCV infection. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) we interrogated the genomes of these individuals for shared genes with rare genomic differences than the majority of the population. 
We have identified 13 such genes that are expressed in the liver and are now working to functionally validate the importance of these genes. 
We combine Nobel prize winning technology of gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) with Nobel prize winning model of HCV infection to test if these genes play a critical role in HCV infection. 
After functional validation and identification, we plan on determining the mechanistic role of the gene or genes involved, and determining if other viruses have evolved to depend on the same genes.
Hepatitis c resistance
Hepatitis C resistance