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J Med Virol. 1997 Jul;52(3):286-8.

Lack of susceptibility of the cottontop tamarin to hepatitis C infection.

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Department of Virology, University College London Medical School, United Kingdom.


The only species apart from man that is known to be susceptible to HCV infection is the chimpanzee but the availability of this primate for research is strictly limited. In an attempt to find an alternative and more practical model for HCV studies three cottontop tamarins were inoculated intravenously with HCV-containing serum from patients with chronic HCV infection. The tamarins were monitored regularly for biochemical indications of hepatic inflammation and serum samples were assayed at weekly intervals for the presence of HCV-RNA and HCV antibodies. HCV-RNA was detectable at 10 minutes postinoculation in all three animals but not at any later time point over a 6 month period. No evidence of an active humoral immune response to the inoculated HCV was obtained although passively transferred anti-HCV was detectable in one animal until 1 week postinoculation. Biochemical findings did not indicate hepatic inflammation and liver histology remained normal. It is concluded on the basis of these negative findings that the cottontop tamarin is not susceptible to HCV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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