Ozone Therapy As Treatment For Chronic Hepatitis C

Ozone therapy a revolutionary term in medical science today was originally developed by Nikola Tesla in 1900. Almost every hospital in Germany is using this method and has been since 1960, and recently Russia and Cuba are using it as well. Medical Ozone has proven its power in treating a wide range of diseases. Now, it has also brought hope for patients with chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis C (HCV) is well known for its frequent occurrence and strong prevalence base, hence termed as a global epedemic. Medical ozone due to its special biological properties theoretically and practically deactivates HCV.

HCV- an evolution

Hepatitis C (HCV) was recognized in 1970s has a lesser magnitude of infection than Hepatitis A and resembles to Hepatitis B. When in 1989 the complete genome sequence of HCV was deciphered, it was found to have a novel distinct serological feature among the Hepatitis virus family. The viral particle is surrounded by a nucleocapsid layer which contains its genome, a single stranded RNA. The nucleocapsid is again surrounded by an envelope which helps to attach and penetrate into the host cell.

hcv-model

                                              Figure: Hepatitis C virus: model structure and genome organization.

The genome encodes structural proteins designated as core (C), envelope 1 (E1), envelope 2 (E2), and P7 (unknown function), providing for virion architecture, and nonstructural proteins, mainly enzymes essential to the virion’s life cycle, designated as NS2, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, NS5A, and NS5B. When any person is affected by HCV, inside his/her body the viral particles do not express a homogenous population. Rather, they function as a pool of genetically variant strains known as quasispecies. This is due to the high replication error inherent in the function of the polymerase enzymes. Herein lays one of the important armaments of HCV. Continuously generated genetic diversity gives it great advantage in negotiating and conquering immune defense and therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, the antigenic differences between genotypes may have implications regarding the proper evaluation and the therapeutic regimen of patients. Hepatitis C distinguishes itself by the low incidence of acute phases and by the high incidence of progression to chronicity. Acute hepatitis C progresses from exposure, to incubation, to pre-icteric, icteric, and convalescent phases. With an incubation period of about 6 weeks, the first and sometimes only symptoms include weakness, fatigue, indolence, headache, nausea, poor appetite, and vague abdominal pain. The pre-icteric period extends from the onset of symptoms to the appearance of jaundice, ranging usually from 2 to 12 days. The icteric phase corresponds to the declaration of jaundice and darkened urine. The convalescent phase is marked by the gradual disappearance of symptoms.

Ozone therapy in use

It has long been established that ozone neutralizes bacteria, viruses, and fungi in aqueous media. This has prompted the creation of water purification processing plants in many major municipalities worldwide. Medical ozone’s antiviral properties may also be applied to the treatment of biological fluids, albeit in technologically and physiologically appropriate ways. Indeed, it is noted that medical ozone, administered in such dosages designed to respect the integrity of blood’s cellular and constituent elements, is capable of inactivating a spectrum of viral families.

Medical ozone action on viral particles in infected blood yield several possible outcomes. One outcome is the modification of virions so that they remain structurally grossly intact yet sufficiently dysfunctional as to be nonpathogenic. This attenuation of viral particle functionality through slight modifications of the viral envelope, and possibly the viral genome itself, modifies pathogenicity and allows the host to increase the sophistication of its immune response. The creation of dysfunctional viruses by medical ozone offers unique therapeutic possibilities. In view of the fact that so many mutational variants exist in any one afflicted individual, the creation of an antigenic spectrum of crippled virions could provide for a unique host-specific stimulation of the immune system, thus designing what may be called a host-specific autovaccine.

In HCV, viral load appears to be a major factor in the invasiveness and virulence of the disease process. Preliminary research has shown that reduction of viral load in Hepatitis C by means of ozone therapy can significantly normalize hepatic enzymes and improve measures of global patient health. Volunteers administered ozone therapy according to the method achieved a viral load reduction in the order of 5 log, or 99.9%, along with a normalization of liver enzyme levels.

So it is clear that, Medical Ozone embodies unique physico-chemical and biological properties which suggest an important role in the therapy of hepatitis C.