Mouse models of acute and chronic hepacivirus infection.

Billerbeck E, Wolfisberg R, Fahnøe U, Xiao JW, Quirk C, Luna JM, Cullen JM, Hartlage AS, Chiriboga L, Ghoshal K, Lipkin WI, Bukh J, Scheel TKH, Kapoor A, Rice CM
Science 357 204-208 01/14/2017

Abstract

An estimated 71 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The lack of small-animal models has impeded studies of antiviral immune mechanisms. Here we show that an HCV-related hepacivirus discovered in Norway rats can establish high-titer hepatotropic infections in laboratory mice with immunological features resembling those seen in human viral hepatitis. Whereas immune-compromised mice developed persistent infection, immune-competent mice cleared the virus within 3 to 5 weeks. Acute clearance was T cell dependent and associated with liver injury. Transient depletion of CD4

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