1 School of Life Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
2 NIHR Nottingham BRC, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
3 Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection and continues to be a global problem despite advances in antiviral therapeutics. Current treatments fail to prevent reinfection and remain expensive, limiting their use to developed countries, and the asymptomatic nature of acute infection can result in individuals not receiving treatment and unknowingly spreading HCV. A prophylactic vaccine is therefore needed to control this virus. Thirty years since the discovery of HCV, there have been major gains in understanding the molecular biology and elucidating the immunological mechanisms that underpin spontaneous viral clearance, aiding rational vaccine design. This review discusses the challenges facing HCV vaccine design and the most recent and promising candidates being investigated