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Netter HJ , Gerin JL , Tennant BC , Taylor JM
Apparent Helper-Independent Infection of Woodchucks by Hepatitis-Delta Virus and Subsequent Rescue with Woodchuck Hepatitis-Virus
Journal of Virology. 1994 Sep;68(9) :5344-5350
PMID: ISI:A1994PB78500002   
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Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a subviral agent of humans which is dependent upon hepatitis B virus as a helper for transmission. HDV can be experimentally transmitted to woodchucks by using woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) as the helper. We used this model system to study two types of HDV infections: those of animals already chronically infected with WW and those of animals without any evidence of Drier exposure to WHV. At 5 to 10 days after infection with HDV, liver biopsies of these two groups of animals indicated that around 1% of the hepatocytes were infected (HDV antigen positive). Moreover, similar amounts of replicative forms of HDV RNA were detected. In contrast, by 20 days postinfection, the two groups of animals were quite different in the extent of the HDV infection. The animals chronically infected with WHV shelved spread of the infection within the liver and the release of high titers of HDV into the serum. In contrast, the animals not previously exposed to WHV shelved a progressive reduction in liver involvement, and at no time up to 165 days postinfection could we detect HDV particles in the serum. However, if these animals were inoculated with a relatively high titer of WHV at either 7 or even 33 days after the HDV infection, HDV viremia was observed. Our data support the interpretation that in these animals, hepatocytes were initially infected in the absence of helper virus, HDV genome replication took place, and ultimately these replicating genomes were rescued by the secondary WHV infection. The observation that HDV can survive in the liver for at least 33 days in the absence of coinfecting helper virus may be relevant to the reemergence of HDV infection following liver transplantation.
English Article PB785 J VIROL