Affiliation: 8800 Rockville pike, Building 29A, Room no. 2C11, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
The presence of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their ease of detection in body fluids including serum and whole blood have opened new avenues for developing novel non-invasive methods for diagnostics and therapeutic applications for both infectious and noninfectious diseases. Blood-borne infectious viral diseases pose challenge to public health at large and, especially to health care workers, emergency responders and public safety personnel. Several studies have explored these newly identified miRNAs in blood borne infectious diseases for various purposes. This review highlights and focuses only on some of the available literature on the patient associated cellular miRNAs in blood-borne viral diseases and its occasional extrapolation to infected cell cultures as it relates to blood-borne hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Where appropriate, this review further points to the potential of miRNAs as non-invasive early disease detection biomarkers for these viral infections as well as possible prospects and challenges of miRNA-based therapies in treating these viral infections.