Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are recognized as major global health concern. Chronic HBV infection affects 240 million people worldwide, and 650,000 die annually from associated liver complications. Despite this high morbidity and mortality, animal models of HBV infection are severely limited; a situation that has been exacerbated by the recent removal of all NIH funding for chimpanzee research. Thus, there remains an urgent need to develop a novel, physiologically relevant primate model of HBV infection. Here, we present the first rhesus macaque model of HBV infection and propose two distinct ways to improve this model by increasing the permanent expression of the HBV receptor, NTCP, on liver hepatocytes. We believe that our new rhesus macaque model of HBV infection will be on the forefront of HBV research, and is becoming available at a crucial time where efforts are now turning towards cure strategies for HBV. Given the urgent need for tractable animal models of HBV infection, we believe the research proposed herein to be of the highest significance.

Public Health Relevance

Animal models of HBV infection are limited, particularly due to the recent suspension of chimpanzee research funding. Here, we describe the first rhesus macaque model of HBV infection, setting the stage for a highly needed HBV primate model.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21AI133632-02
Application #
9635723
Study Section
Virology - B Study Section (VIRB)
Program Officer
Koshy, Rajen
Project Start
2018-02-01
Project End
2020-01-31
Budget Start
2019-02-01
Budget End
2020-01-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2019
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Oregon Health and Science University
Department
Type
Overall Medical
DUNS #
096997515
City
Portland
State
OR
Country
United States
Zip Code
97239