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J Gen Virol. 2018 Aug;99(8):1036-1043. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001089. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Evaluation of antiviral efficacy of Chinese traditional medicine Babao Dan in rabbits infected with hepatitis E virus.

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1​Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, PR China.
2​Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, PR China.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major cause of acute viral hepatitis. Patients with chronic hepatitis B superinfected with HEV may progress to liver failure. Babao Dan (BD) is a traditional Chinese medicine widely used as an auxiliary option for the treatment of chronic hepatitis and liver cancer in China. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of BD on the management of HEV infection in a rabbit model. Sixty-two specific-pathogen-free (SPF) rabbits were divided randomly into five groups and treated with BD or placebo for 2 weeks. All rabbits were inoculated intravenously with rabbit HEV after initial administration. Then, rabbits were administered BD or ribavirin or placebo at 2 weeks post-inoculation (wpi) until faecal virus shedding showed negative. The duration of faecal virus shedding and levels of HEV RNA in faeces were reduced, and anti-HEV antibodies were detected in all rabbits in groups treated with BD before or after inoculation. Ribavirin treatment rapidly cleared HEV infection in SPF rabbits, but anti-HEV antibodies remained negative in 50 % of rabbits treated with ribavirin. These results indicate that ribavirin treatment was more effective in clearing HEV infection, while administration of BD before or after inoculation was effective in clearing HEV infection. Further clinical studies are warranted.


Babao Dan; animal model; antiviral therapy; hepatitis E virus; ribavirin

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