Researchers in Canada have discovered a new approach to blocking infection from the hepatitis C virus in the liver that could lead to new therapies.

HCV requires fat to replicate, and a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia have developed an inhibitor that decreases the size of host fat droplets in liver cells and stops the virus from multiplying and infecting other cells.

"Our approach would essentially block the lifecycle of the virus so that it cannot spread and cause further damage to the liver," said François Jean, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Scientific Director of the Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER) at UBC.

The research is published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.