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J Viral Hepat. 2001 May;8(3):228-31.

Failure to infect rhesus monkeys with hepatitis C virus strains of genotypes 1a, 2a or 3a.

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Hepatitis Viruses Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID/NIH, 7 Center Drive MSC 0740, Bethesda, MD 20892-0740, USA.


The chimpanzee is the only recognized animal model for the study of hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, recently it was reported that rhesus monkeys were susceptible to HCV and developed hepatitis during infection. In the present study, we inoculated two rhesus monkeys each with HCV strain H77 (genotype 1a), strain HC-J6 (genotype 2a) or strain S52 (genotype 3a). Weekly serum samples were tested for liver enzyme values, HCV antibodies and HCV RNA. We did not find evidence of HCV infection in any of the monkeys during 24 weeks of follow-up. Our study demonstrates that rhesus monkeys are not readily infected with HCV and apparently do not represent a useful animal model for the study of HCV.

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