Both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause persistent viral infection in humans. Chronic infection is associated with a risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The cause of chronic infection is unknown. A large body of evidence suggests that a failure of the adaptive immune response is critical in the establishment of chronic infection. Recently a new group of T cells (T-regulatory cells), that express CD4(+)CD25(+) and Foxp3, which can inhibit the cellular (CD4(+)/CD8(+)) immune response have been described. In this review the authors explore the thoughts regarding immune responses to HBV and HCV infections and the role of these T-regulatory cells in relation to the pathogenesis of chronic HBV and HCV infection and the potential for therapeutic intervention.