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J Infect Dis. 1995 Jul;172(1):25-30.

Hepatitis C virus viremia in SCID-->BNX mouse chimera.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


Chimpanzees are currently the only nonhuman animal model for reproducible propagation of hepatitis C virus (HCV). A chimeric mouse model was used for the induction of hepatitis C viremia, using BNX (beige/nude/X-linked immunodeficient) mice preconditioned by total body irradiation and reconstituted with SCID mouse bone marrow cells. HCV-infected liver fragments from patients with HCV RNA-positive sera were transplanted under the kidney capsule of the chimeric mice. HCV-specific RNA sequences were detected by reverse transcriptase nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in serum of approximately 50% of grafted animals. In addition, normal liver specimens were incubated with HCV serum and transplanted into chimeric mice, leading to viremia in approximately 25% of animals. Sequential histologic evaluation of the liver implants, from day 2 to week 14 after transplantation, revealed loss of lobular architecture within the implants. However, viremia persisted for 10-50 days after transplantation. These results offer a new HCV model.

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