Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major health problem worldwide. Early detection of the infection will help better management of the infected cases. The monoclonal antibodies (mAb) of mice are predominantly used for the immunodiagnosis of several viral, bacterial, and parasitic antigens. Serological detection of HCV antigens and antibodies provide simple and rapid methods of detection but lack sensitivity specially in the window phase between the infection and antibody development. Human mAb are used in the immunotherapy of several blood malignancies, such as lymphoma and leukemia, as well as for autoimmune diseases. In this review article, we will discuss methods of mouse and human monoclonal antibody production. We will demonstrate the role of mouse mAb in the detection of HCV antigens as rapid and sensitive immunodiagnostic assays for the detection of HCV, which is a major health problem throughout the world, particularly in Egypt. We will discuss the value of HCV-neutralizing antibodies and their roles in the immunotherapy of HCV infections and in HCV vaccine development. We will also discuss the different mechanisms by which the virus escape the effect of neutralizing mAb. Finally, we will discuss available and new trends to produce antibodies, such as egg yolk-based antibodies (IgY), production in transgenic plants, and the synthetic antibody mimics approach.
Hepatitis C virus; Immunodiagnosis; Immunotherapy; Monoclonal antibodies