New animal models for hepatitis C

Markus Von Schaewen, Jenna M. Gaska, Alexander Ploss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The hepatotropic hepatitis C virus (HCV) belongs to the Flaviviridae family and chronically infects 130-150 million people worldwide. The severe consequences the virus has for liver health, especially if left untreated, and the lack of a vaccine continue to make HCV a relevant global health problem. A considerable challenge in studying HCV is the virus’ host tropism, which is limited almost exclusively to humans and chimpanzees. The lack of suitable and ethical animal model systems has hindered our abilities to mechanistically decipher interactions of HCV with its mammalian host and to develop vaccines. However, encouraging advances, especially in the refinement of humanized mouse models, have created new opportunities for studying HCV pathogenesis and host antiviral responses in vivo. Additionally, the discovery of hepaciviruses in other organisms and advances in induced pluripotent stem cell technologies have created further avenues for exploration. The ultimate goal is to develop tractable small animal models for HCV, which optimally recapitulate all parts of the viral life cycle and present with clinically relevant manifestations of viral hepatitis. Such new models would undoubtedly shed light on both the biology and clinical consequences of chronic hepatitis C infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHepatitis C Virus I
Subtitle of host publicationCellular and Molecular Virology
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9784431560982
ISBN (Print)9784431560968
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


  • Animal model
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Host tropism
  • Immune response
  • Vaccines


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