What are Chronic Viral Infections?
Many virus infections are self-limited because host mechanisms eliminate the virus. Infections with certain viruses, however, often fail to resolve and, as such, become chronic. Such infections can persist for many years, often for the lifetime of the infected individual, and some cause serious progressive disease and early death. Examples are Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.
The authors examined the link between fatty liver due to the chronic Hepatitis C virus and the MTHFR C677T mutation. Fatty liver was found to correlate with the MTHFR mutation, with the highest levels and severity of fatty liver associated with the TT genotype. The risk of an individual developing fatty liver if carrying the 677TT genotype 20 times higher than the C677T genotype. This research is relevant in the scope of chronic disease, as HCV is severe in its chronicity, with the associated fatty liver leading to fibrosis and hence loss of function of the liver.