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J Virol. 1989 Oct;63(10):4292-7.

Cloned hepatitis delta virus cDNA is infectious in the chimpanzee.

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Department of Virology and Immunology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Texas 78284.


A head-to-tail trimer of a full-length cDNA clone of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genome was examined for infectivity by direct inoculation into the liver of a chimpanzee that was already infected with hepatitis B virus. Five weeks after inoculation, a marked elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase activity was observed, followed by the appearance of high levels of HDV RNA and antigen in both liver and serum and a high level of viral particles in the serum. A transient suppression of hepatitis B virus replication was evident during the acute phase of HDV infection. Seroconversion for antibodies to delta antigen occurred 3 weeks after the onset of the disease. These results demonstrate that a typical HDV infection can be initiated by inoculation of a susceptible animal with recombinant HDV cDNA.

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