Researchers said the discovery was a "breakthrough", which, it was hoped, would lead to powerful new treatments for the most virulent strains of the infection.
The researchers found that the most robust HCV strains had adaptive mutations on a specific region of a protein called NS5A.
The discovery came after researchers at Rockefeller University, New York, USA, and Washington University, St Louis, USA, developed a new technique for culturing HCV - producing a 10,000-fold increase in the number of cells available for study.
"A major breakthrough for genetic studies on HCV"
Professor Charles Rice
Researcher Professor Charles Rice, of Rockefeller University, said, "This is a major breakthrough for genetic studies on the virus and for designing ways to screen for effective drugs.
"This could really speed up the drug discovery process."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com