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Green tea flavonoid may prevent reinfection with hepatitis C virus following liver transplantation
Date:12/1/2011

German researchers have determined that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)a flavonoid found in green teainhibits the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from entering liver cells. Study findings available in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, suggest that EGCG may offer an antiviral strategy to prevent HCV reinfection following liver transplantation.

HCV infection can lead to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer. HCV is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease and a primary indication for liver transplantation, affecting up to 170 million individuals worldwide according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior studies report that nearly 2% of the world population is infected with chronic HCV and up to 20% of the population in some countries.

While standard treatment with interferon with ribavirin and newer protease inhibitors may clear infection in some individuals, a substantial number of patients still may not respond to these therapies. For individuals receiving liver transplants due to complications from HCV, reinfection of the healthy donor liver remains a significant concern. Antiviral strategies that target HCV in its early stages are urgently needed to prevent graft reinfection and improve long-term outcomes for patients.

To address this critical issue, Dr. Sandra Ciesek and Dr. Eike Steinmann from the Hannover Medical School in Germany investigated the effect of the EGCG molecule, which is a major component of green tea, in preventing HCV from attaching to liver cells. "Green tea catechins such as EGCG and its derivatives epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechingallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC) have been shown to exhibit antiviral and anti-oncogenic properties," explains Dr. Ciesek. "Our study further explores the potential effect these fla
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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