GENERAL OBJECTIVE: Investigate the particular aspects of chronic HCV infection among Filipinos using tools in molecular virology.
1. Establish a quantitative PCR-HCV method for determining viral load and correlate this with anti-HCV positivity as well as clinical disease;
2. Undertake extensive HCV genotyping among chronic HCV carriers and correlate to genotype with severity of the disease, mode of infection and response to IFN-treatment;
3. Establish a heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) for assessing quasi-species heterogeneity in chronic HCV cases and correlate this with probable duration of infection.