Hepatitis C infects more than 170 million individuals worldwide and although spontaneous viral clearance occurs in a fraction of that population, the majority of cases progress to chronic infection which may eventually lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. To determine whether fibrosis is present, the current standard involves a liver biopsy which is invasive and painful. Noninvasive biomarker tests exist but have had difficulties detecting the early stages of fibrosis. Biomedical researchers at Oxford have now identified 20 novel fibrosis biomarker candidates that may help identify the disease before severe fibrosis occurs.