Experimental infection of chimpanzees with hepatitis C virus of genotype 5a: genetic analysis of the virus and generation of a standardized challenge pool

J Infect Dis. 1998 Oct;178(4):1193-7. doi: 10.1086/515683.


Six major genotypes (genotypes 1-6) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been identified. These genetic variants are being transmitted to chimpanzees, the only recognized animal model for the study of HCV. Genotype 5a (strain SA13), a variant found primarily in South Africa, has been transmitted to chimpanzees for the first time. Experimental infection of 2 chimpanzees was characterized by early appearance of viremia and peak virus titers of 10(5)-10(6) genome equivalents/mL. The HCV infection was resolved by week 15 after inoculation in 1 chimpanzee and persisted in the other. Both chimpanzees became anti-HCV-positive by week 14 after inoculation. Both chimpanzees developed viral hepatitis. The infectivity titer of a genotype 5a challenge pool prepared from the first passage of HCV in a chimpanzee was approximately 10(4) infectious doses/mL. Finally, sequence analysis of strain SA13 confirmed that genotype 5a is genetically distinct from other genotypes of HCV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / classification
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepacivirus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis C / blood
  • Hepatitis C / transmission*
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Phylogeny
  • Reference Standards
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viremia


  • Viral Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF064490