Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major global health problem; indeed, there are 250 million carriers worldwide. The host range of HBV is narrow; therefore, few primates are susceptible to HBV infection. However, ethical constraints, high cost, and large size limit the use of primates as suitable animal models. Thus, in vivo testing of therapies that target HBV has been hampered by the lack of an appropriate in vivo research model. To address this, mouse model systems of HBV are being developed and several are used for studying HBV in vivo. In this review, we summarize the currently available mouse models, including HBV transgenic mice, hydrodynamic injection-mediated HBV replicon delivery systems, adeno-associated virus-mediated HBV replicon delivery systems, and human liver chimeric mouse models. These developed (or being developed) mouse model systems are promising and should be useful tools for studying HBV.
Keywords: FRG; Hepatitis B virus; alb-uPA/SCID; mouse model.