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Keywords:

  • GBV-B;
  • HCV;
  • hepatitis C;
  • monkey

ABSTRACT

More than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected by HCV, which is the causative agent of chronic hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and finally liver cancer. Although animal models of viral hepatitis are a prerequisite for the evaluation of antiviral and vaccine efficacy, the restricted host range of HCV has hampered the development of a suitable small animal model of HCV infection. Use of the chimpanzee, the only animal known to be susceptible to HCV infection, is limited by ethical and financial restrictions. In this regard GBV-B, being closely related to HCV, appears to be a promising non-human surrogate model for the study of HCV infection. This review describes the characteristic of GBV-B infection of New World monkeys, and discusses current issues concerning the GBV-B model and its future directions.