New in vitro model system will allow study of therapeutics and virus life cycle
For the first time, scientists have replicated hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the laboratory. The ability to replicate HCV in cell culture will allow researchers to better study the life cycle and biology of this virus and to test potential antiviral compounds, which may lead to new therapies for the liver disease that results from infection with HCV. Scientists at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducted the study, which appears in the Feb. 15, 2005 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
"Until recently, research on this infectious disease has suffered from the lack of a robust in vitro model system," says T. Jake Liang, M.D., Chief of the Liver Diseases Branch of the NIDDK and co-author of the study. "Our model system produced viral particles that have all the properties of the whole virus. This evidence together with an analysis of the replicated viral RNA supports a conclusion of viral replication and production."
Marcia Vital | EurekAlert!
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