Chronic infections in equids worldwide by a Hepatitis B Virus.

Preclinical testing of novel therapeutics for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) requires suitable animal models.

Equid Hepatitis Virus B (EqHBV) causes a hepatotropic disease comparable to HBV infection in humans. A consortium led by researchers from the Charité Berlin and Justus Liebig University in Giessen suggested in a recently published paper that equids provide a unique opportunity for preclinical testing of novel CHB therapeutics and to investigate Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).

Primary cultures of cryopreserved horse hepatocytes express the Na+/Taurocholate Co-transporting Polypeptide (NTCP) and are susceptible to Equid Hepatitis B Virus (EqHBV) and can be infected with HBV.

The de novo production of HBeAg demonstrated the replication of HBV in primary horse hepatocytes. Both HBV and EqHBV delta virus pseudotypes infected primary horse hepatocytes in vitro, supporting a broad host range for EqHBV among equids and suggesting that horses might be suitable for EqHBV and HBV infections in vivo.

Please follow the paper published by Andrea Rasche et al., PNAS 2021, 118, (13) e2013982118, FOLLOWING THIS LINK HERE.