Copenhagen Hepatitis C Program (CO-HEP); Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen; and Chief Research Physician, Department of Infectious Diseases, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen
Research at Copenhagen Hepatitis C Program (CO-HEP) focuses on basic studies of the hepatitis C virus life cycle with important clinical implications. The aim is to contribute to the development of better therapies and vaccines.
Globally, more than 150 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) including about 20 thousand in Denmark. There are 3-4 million new infections per year, and the majority of acutely infected individuals develop chronic hepatitis. Chronically infected individuals have a ~20% risk for developing liver cirrhosis, and 1–5% per year will subsequently develop liver cancer. Overall, about 500 thousand deaths per year are attributed to HCV induced end-stage liver disease.
Hepatitis C virus is an enveloped virus with a positive single-strand RNA genome, classified within the Flaviviridae family of viruses. It is thus related to other important human pathogens, including Yellow Fever and West Nile viruses.